#27: One Counterexample
I don’t know the full picture
To prove a conjecture false, I need to find just one counterexample. If I tend to respond to a specific type of events in a certain way, is there a way to find a counterexample that would help me feel differently? For example, if every time someone doesn’t respond to my text, I think they don’t like me, can I find a counterexample that would invalidate this reaction?
When I am intentionally searching and am open to finding counterexamples, they eventually reveal themselves. For example, a friend told me that he literally got into a hospital and another one was resolving a family situation so they couldn’t text me. If I was aware of these circumstances, I wouldn’t be as judgemental of their response time. It’s not the case that these things happen every time someone doesn’t respond but they just show that things beyond my knowledge affect the outcomes that I interpret too linearly and selfishly.
This personal bank of counterexamples helps me have a concrete reason to give people the benefit of the doubt when needed. It helps me remind myself that I don’t know the full picture, I don’t have enough information to assume ill intent, or assume anything. Most importantly, thinking badly of other people, even in the moment, is a decision I make. I refer to my counterexamples to not allow myself to make false and unfair judgments.