Last Updated on April 22, 2024

Assuming positive intent

Every book on resolving conflict says the same thing:

If you want to resolve the conflict peacefully, assume the other person has positive intentions.

Drawing out the Good in People

Now that doesn’t mean that everyone actually does have positive intentions, at the surface at least.

Some people are manipulative or aggressive.

And it’s wise to be aware of this possibility.

Assuming positive intention more of a pragmatic thing.

If you assume the other person has negative intentions, that they are a jerk and “out to get you,” this will definitely increase the conflict!

But if you assume there’s some reasonable, deeper need there, this will decrease the conflict.

Even for people who are manipulative or aggressive, we can see these behaviors too as strategies to meet deeper positive needs.

It’s as if we create the response we assume is true!

If we assume negative intent, we get negative intent.

But if we assume positive intent, we bring out the good in people.

How we frame things is much more powerful than we realize.

Finding Inner Peace

The same is true within ourselves.

If we want to resolve inner conflict and find inner peace, assume all parts of you have positive intentions.

When we assume some part of us is wrong or bad, that increases conflict.

We end up with inner battles.

We try to get rid of the “bad” part, the “lazy” part.

But that just creates more conflict.

And that inner conflict is exhausting!

There is a way out of this though.

Assume every part of us is actually good.

How to Be Kind to Yourself

Presuppose there is a deeper positive intention.

Maybe that “lazy” part has a real need for rest.

Maybe that “manipulative” part has a real need to be loved.

The strategies we use to meet our needs are not the only possible ones!

There are infinite possibilities, if we’re open to them.

Do I do this perfectly, with myself or others?

Definitely not.

But we also don’t have to be perfect to make progress.

You also don’t have to resolve conflict with anyone, even yourself.

You can ghost people, block trolls, and walk away from relationships.

That said, I think most people don’t know how much transformation is truly possible.

Relationships can get better and better.

Your relationship with yourself can improve infinitely.

And that makes everything better.

Core Transformation

If you really want to embody this idea of seeing positive intent, I highly recommend the method Core Transformation from Connirae Andreas.

I did over 500 self-guided Core Transformation sessions on myself.

It was a profound practice.

I used to have a severe “inner critic” going 24/7.

Now I almost never have any inner critical voice in my head.

My inner voice is usually kind and encouraging!

I also have done Core Transformation endless times with clients.

In fact I did so much Core Transformation, I can practically facilitate it my sleep.

It’s really great stuff, highly underrated in my opinion.

It’s worth spending a year or two just doing lots of this sort of thing.

Have a wonderful week,

~Duff