What would you do?
When we read or hear about other people’s experiences, there is a temptation to imagine how we would have handled their situation differently than they did. “Well if that happened to me, I would’ve…,” but really that isn’t fair to the person who actually experienced it. When aided by the benefit of hindsight, we almost certainly come to a different decision than we would have in the moment.
One of the first things I say when I’m asked by a client, or a friend, what I would have done in any particular situation is, “It really isn’t fair for me to pretend to know.” I’m glad to offer my thoughts on a past decision but I’m careful to admit that one doesn’t know how they would react to any given situation until they are actually faced with that situation. It’s easy to look back and see where others have made bad judgments and to wonder how such decisions could have been made, but we must remember that the benefit of hindsight is only afforded after the event has occurred.
So, hold back your judgment and resist the urge to tell others how much better you would have handled their situation than they did. Remember that we all do the best we can in any given moment and we all make mistakes.