Why do we see the good in people even if they’ve been less than? It fascinates me how when someone isn’t in our life anymore, we won’t have a bad word said. It’s as if they were the perfect friend, the perfect mother, the perfect father.
It doesn’t matter what they did or didn’t say, it doesn’t matter that they didn’t support us like they should have, we tend to see them as faultless and blameless.
Why do we do this?
Well, I believe the mind tends to plays tricks on us. We either just remember the good times, or we feel compelled to say nice things, because we’re afraid we’ll be struck down by lightening if we speak ill of the dead.
How that plays out in terms of communication with family can be quite difficult. Children tend to stick up for family, regardless of who they are. They often see the same things as we see, but to them speaking out of turn will be seen as disrespectful; so they choose not to.
There are adults who may also behave in the same way. That may well be true of the older-generation who tend to display more respect, even if someone wasn’t so kind and supportive. That person will still be spoken about fondly many years after they’re gone.
Of course, I always look to find the positive and good in people, but if that’s not forthcoming I will tell the truth in an appropriate way. I would never woefully speak ill of anyone, it’s never been my way; but I won’t make out that a person is saintly either, if that’s not how she or he were. It’s important to choose our words carefully, but it’s even more important to be as truthful as we can.
Whatever or however we choose to say something, it may of course be perceived in a less than favourable manner. It’s not to say that we said something wrong, on the contrary we may have played everything by the book, but what we cannot do is guarantee that the other person will take what we say in the way it was intended.
It is of course very difficult when someone sees what you see and yet they recall that person in a completely different light. It can make it virtually impossible to agree, not only on that but in other ways too.
We must see people for how they are and be totally truthful about them, however hard it is.