What are your intentions? What do you intend to do? What did they mean or intend by that? These are all important questions that many of us have forgotten to ask or take into consideration. Either for what we intend or what others do. Intentions is defined as what one intends to do or bring about. Intend is defined as to have in mind as purpose or goal. Essentially a plan. A simple example is you are having lunch with a friend. You might intend to have a great time with them. Or a person might intend to make the friend feel bad or shame them. Yes, unfortunately that does happen. But that is why intent is so important to understand. People can assume bad intentions where there is none. Or assume good intentions when they are not there. So how can we get a better understanding of intention and how it can impact relationships, communication and interactions.
One of the biggest things that is coming up for Empaths, over givers and sensitive people is learning to not take on more responsibility than is their part. They may feel they have to try harder to make people feel good based on how they act. But you can have the same intention with two different people and get two different results. Why? Because people are free to choose how they respond. Say you have two friends with birthdays coming up. You put a lot of thought and care into what to give each of them. Your intention is good. One friend receives the gift and loves it! The second friend barely shows any excitement and sets the gift aside. The intent was the same for both, but they responded differently. Why? Because they chose to. You did not cause or create the response. You had good intent; gave them a gift and they chose how to respond. Just because one friend was not excited about the gift doesn’t mean you intended for that to happen. So do not carry that responsibility.
Unfortunately, society has forgotten about intent. We live in an age where people are super sensitive and can be ultra defensive. If a word or phrase is used people may assume you are mean, hateful or disrespectful. But more than likely there was no bad intention, but there was a chosen response. We forget people have different experiences, backgrounds and cultures that they do not respond the same way to words, phrases, gestures or actions. What if you were being introduced to a new culture. You have no background on their customs or traditions. Your intent it good. To experience the culture and learn, meet new and interesting people and to have a good experience. But what if you did a gesture or said a phrase that was deeply offensive to the culture? Your intent was not bad, you just didn’t have the knowledge, experience or background to know it is offensive in their culture. Do the other people choose to be offended and ask you to leave? Assuming you are a mean and disrespectful person? Chances are no if they understand intent. They may take the time to explain what you said or did and how it feels to them. They may help you for future interactions. But they understand mistakes happen and that certainly was not your intent.
In today’s energy it can feel like we are walking on eggshells. There are so many things that are offending people and changing rapidly. It can be hard to keep up with the latest trends and thoughts. But just because you don’t know, and someone takes offense doesn’t mean your intention was bad. This is where we can take too much responsibility for people’s happiness or reactions. You are not responsible for how people interpret your words or actions. If said with good intent, and respect, it is on the other person for choosing to respond in a negative way. If you find you are being easily offended or triggered by someone also look at their intent. If they have good intentions don’t make them feel bad about what they said. Instead have a conversation about. Hint – a conversation is not a lecture. Be open to discussion and hearing their thoughts and feelings as well.
Intent is such an important consideration to have when interacting and talking with other people. If someone is intentionally trying to hurt or harm you, then yes that is bad intent, and you should treat it as such. But if someone has good intentions and triggered you or has different viewpoints from you understand there was no malice behind it. You can choose if you want to continue interacting with a person, have a conversation about it or choose to walk away respectfully. If intent is good, then it is not quite as easy to point fingers or blame others for your responses. Take the time to understand intentions and see how relationships and conversations can improve. See how much better you can feel and move through situations with ease. See how you can recognize good from bad intent more easily and navigate through life in a much healthier way!