Intention vs. Impact

July 31, 2022
Posted in Wellness
July 31, 2022 Claire

Intention vs. Impact

Many of us want to be seen as good people, and I would worry myself sick when I was a kid for this exact reason. I wanted to be seen as good and worthy. As I get older, I realize we all can hurt or disappoint others. Many of us don’t want to do that, but it will occur a handful of times in our lifetimes. Some moments we hurt or disappoint are no fault of our own, and other times we do have a hand in how one can be affected.

It can be hard to hear when we harm others unintentionally, and that person lets us know. When accepting how our actions or words were perceived or received by another, our egos often show up. Many are unaware that our defense mechanism is to tell the person they misunderstood or defend our intentions. That is now another unintentional form of invalidating the already hurt party.

Now let’s be clear. Suppose a person shares how you may have hurt their feelings or how they have received your words or actions and uses language or behavior meant to demean, belittle, or severely hurt you to get their message across. In that case, you may be dealing with a specific energy that doesn’t want a resolve, and often their hurt has little to do with you, and I can write about that another time. 

I want to get across that simply many of us end up missing the point. We let our egos get the best of us. We are focused on why our good intentions are being thrown in our faces and forget that the impact is what matters. Part of my mindfulness journey has resulted in me taking a beat and trying my best to hear people truly. I don’t always succeed with flying colors (I sometimes react when I shouldn’t because I can’t always process everything instantly), but it has helped tremendously in some interactions. Resolve is always possible when you can hear words and not take them as an attack on your character. At the end of the day, how you may have affected a person is what we are left with. We don’t have the power to change someone’s experience just because we think they should have experienced it how we expected.

Sometimes we misunderstand one another; sometimes, we realize that certain personalities require a different type of interaction. We are learning, living, and growing on this planet, and none of us will get every interaction right. When we accept that being flawed doesn’t make us bad people, we can be better for each other and ourselves. Most times, we all want to be heard. If someone trusts us enough to share how we have affected them, either positively or negatively, it shows their trust and respect for you.