Most people don’t listen. What they do is process the words that are spoken and turn them into a full-blown drama story in their mind.

Let me give you a few examples of what I mean. 

Friend Cancelling Plans: 

There you are, excited for dinner with your best friend, and then you get the text: “Can’t make it tonight; something came up.” Instantly, your brain goes into overdrive. Are they avoiding me? Did I do something wrong? Maybe they found better plans.

Husband/Wife Scenario: 

Your partner walks through the door, quieter than usual, barely mustering a smile. Your mind races – do they not enjoy our time together anymore? Is something wrong between us?

As a Coach with a Client: 

A client sends you an email asking to push back their session, claiming they’re not ready to move forward yet. Immediately, you wonder if they’re second-guessing your coaching methods or their decision to work with you.

This happens more often than not. Here’s a lesson I learned years ago that will transform your relationships, eliminate drama, and give you peace of mind: believe what people say.

No reading between the lines, no mental gymnastics, no hidden meanings, no story – just listen to their words and take them at face value.

Why is this important? Here are a few reasons:

  • When you believe what people say, it fosters trust.
  • When you believe what people say, it stops unnecessary drama.
  • When you believe what people say, it reduces misunderstandings and conflict.
  • When you believe what people say, it encourages honesty and openness because both parties feel heard, understood, and taken at their word.
  • When you believe what people say, it holds people responsible for fully expressing themselves and helps eliminate “beating around the bush,” which can lead to clearer, more effective communication.

I think you get the point.

If you want to simplify your interactions and avoid unnecessary conflict, then just believe what people say and stop making up stories that may or may not be true. It’s freeing both for you and them.

So next time someone shares something with you, resist the urge to read between the lines or add your own interpretation. Listen, believe, and respond to what is actually being said. This simple practice can transform the way you interact with the world around you, making life a little less complicated and a lot more genuine.


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