Something we learn about as we mature is that, even with the best of intentions, some actions have unintended consequences.  Some things affect people in dramatic ways even though that’s what we were trying to avoid or that’s the last thing we would do, etc, etc, etc.  We learn to try and think about all the connections that we will be effecting with our actions, take them into account, and make the best plan of action with the best results for everyone involved.  This could mean compromising on some aspects of something or sucking it up and dealing with the reaction because the action is necessary and with every action there’s an equal and opposite…

At least that’s what the well intentioned crew do when they grow up.  I applaud that and try to maintain my membership with regular monthly meeting attendance.  🙂  However, there is a drawback to being a member of the well intentioned.  Many times we assume that everyone is a member, we don’t check their id cards, and then things go wrong.  Nonmembers can seem like they are well intentioned.  They can present themselves as just having misunderstood or been ignorant of what something means or what the outcome would have been for others.  That doesn’t mean it’s the case.

This is something that comes up in readings with regularity.  The client is a member of the well intentioned crew and they assume the other party is as well.  They are then confronted with the conundrum of the other person’s behavior.   Over and over the other party has done things that prove they are either amazingly stupid, naïvely ignorant, and prone to social faux pas that are so big they should be named like hurricanes.  The client makes excuse after excuse, searches within themselves to find that they did to cause the situation, looks for patterns within them that would draw this kind of thing to them, all the while I’m waiting for a pause in the narrative so I can point out the elephant in the room.

When the other person in the equation is not well intentioned, if, for whatever reason, they are pretending to be and yet acting without a care for the consequences of their actions, this isn’t our fault or our responsibility.  This is a choice. Mistakes do happen, we all screw up, but that is rarely a repetitive thing.  Constant mistakes take on a pattern that points to intention.  So if you see a pattern, stop and check the person’s actions and see if the consequences are really unintended or intended to be without consequence to the actor.