All People Are OK, Their Actions May Be Off At Times

About 5-6 years ago, I made this reframing. Instead of thinking of people as being in a certain way, globally, I started to consider them all as being fundamentally OK, and apply a value only to their actions. For instance, instead of thinking: “this guy is an idiot”, I started to think like: “this guy is ok, but his action / approach / opinion is really idiotic”.

There was, obviously, a process to internalize this reframing – and I had my ups and downs with the implementation, so to speak – but in the end it worked out. In the sense that now I see people as being fundamentally OK, and consider only their actions as being in a certain way.

When you start seeing people like this, something will shift.

First, there will be a lot more clarity, and a lot less confusion

Let’s say you think that someone is a complete idiot. But then that someone does something nice. It always happens. Even the dumbest dumb is capable of making someone else laugh. Well, at that exact moment, your monolithic belief will be challenged. He is not a complete idiot. He may be partially idiotic, and partially nice. And here comes the confusion. How is he really: an idiot, or a funny guy? If he’s both, then you’re holding two persons in your mind. If he’s only one, then he is incapable of being the other one.

Believe it or not, the vast majority of people holds these type of contradictory beliefs about other people. They’re holding not one person, but a few of them, all tied up to some dominant behavior (depending on the context): “an idiot”, “a nice guy”, “a loyal person”, “but vulnerable to seduction”. And that creates a lot of confusion.

Whereas if you think that person is fundamentally ok, and sometimes acts like and idiot, while other times like a funny guy, well, it’s way easier. You hold only one person in your mind. Of course, if he acts predominantly like an idiot, you will then think he has a propension for acting like this, and you will position yourself in a certain way.

Second, there will be a lot more flexibility

Here’s how this one works. If you think of someone as being fundamentally bad, then the only way for that person to change would be to change entirely. He will have to stop being an idiot, and become a nice guy. But if his very identity is tied up to that characteristic, him changing into a nice guy would literally mean he’d have to die. So, the new, nice person would actually be someone else.

Well, if you think he is already OK, but he only needs to change the dominance of his actions, then he will continue to be the same person, only acting predominantly like a nice person.

That’s way more flexible and easier to accommodate than a fixed persona, that will need huge amounts of energy to continue functioning. You’re just accepting the other person as being fundamentally OK, and only acknowledge his ups and downs, knowing that in order to become better he doesn’t have to change completely, to die, disappear entirely and be reborn – he only to adjust his behavior in a certain direction.

And third, there will be a lot more compassion

This is not tied to any religion or spirituality, it’s simply the acknowledging of the fact that certain contexts may make people who are OK behave in stupid ways. If you see them as OK, fundamentally, and you’ll understand they’ve just been thrown away by some unfortunate circumstance, you’ll not only feel more compassion towards them, but will also try to help.

It’s not that they are intrinsically rotten, it’s just that in a certain context, their actions were sidetracked. And, because they are fundamentally OK, they can change their actions.

Of course, all these shifts will start to apply to you as well, if you start seeing yourself as being fundamentally OK. When you start seeing yourself like that, and understand the difference between your fundamentally OK layer and your actions (which some may not be OK at times), then you’ll hold less confusion about who you are, experience more flexibility in the way you live and, yes, even that, feel more compassion for the unfortunate decisions you took in strange circumstances.

Nothing is set in stone and you can always change your actions.

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