When I first say the word “generosity”, many of my clients think they have this down. My over-achieving mom’s say things like, “yep, I’m definitely generous” because they can be so giving of their time and even valuables. But this type of generosity is not about giving time, giving of yourself, or giving “things” to people. It’s much more important. It’s us giving people the benefit of the doubt. In fact, generosity is our ability to assume the BEST about a situation or person first, instead of the worst.
For instance, if a friend of mine is running late. What do I assume?Do I think, “Man, they’re so rude, they don’t care about my time, OF COURSE they’re the type to run late (judgment)…” or, do I assume the best until I know all of the information? “Wow… they must’ve lost track of time… I hope they’re okay… this ISN’T like them”.
Generosity is such a wonderful gift in our relationships, as I know that I am so grateful to feel like I can really be myself (and human) in relationships where I know people assume the best of me first. It also motivates me to rise to that occasion. Generosity is not always forgiving someone and not having boundaries… it simply means that we assume the best until we have all the information needed to set a boundary. For me, when I got better at generosity with my relationships, I felt like I got a lot of wasted energy back from assuming the worst or having to plan for the worst about people when my brain would biasedly assume bad before the good. So many times I was wrong, and when I was right — it never prepared me to handle it better. It still sucks when people and situations let us down. But, let’s also not waste energy on thinking things will go bad or people are bad if we really don’t know what’s in store.
Last but certainly not least, if you work on this skill in your life I guarantee your relationships will change in a positive light (and your own emotional energy levels).