Discover an unexpected twist in personal growth that will change the way you see your relationships. Dive into a raw, relatable conversation and learn how a simple shift in mindset can lead to healing and newfound peace. Join Andrew and Kat on their journey towards the best version of themselves, and find out how a seemingly small change can make a monumental difference. Stay tuned for the surprising glimmers that light up their lives. You won’t want to miss this.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Embracing the benefit of the doubt leads to healthier relationships and greater understanding.
  • Cultivating a best case scenario mindset can transform personal growth and lead to unexpected opportunities.
  • Overcoming negative thinking empowers you to navigate life’s challenges with resilience and optimism.
  • Practicing self-compassion is crucial for personal development, leading to improved self-esteem and emotional well-being.
  • Handling relationship changes positively fosters growth and strengthens connections in your life.

00:00:00 - Andrew Dewar

Welcome to today's episode. The intention of today's episode is to help you come up with a better case scenario for yourself in your mind and eventually get to the best case scenario. We're hoping that when you listen to this, you understand more about yourself and the people that you surround yourself with. Welcome to the five year Youth podcast, a show dedicated to helping you become the best version of yourself one day at a time. I'm Andrew.

00:00:28 - Catherine Collins

And I'm Cat. And we promise to keep it raw, real, and relatable.

00:00:34 - Andrew Dewar

Are you ready to grow? This podcast is intended to entertain, educate, and inspire you on a personal journey towards your best self. We are in no position to give advice and our hot messes on the best of our days. Clearly, we're in no position to offer health or medical advice or really any life advice, but we want to entertain you. Just a reminder, this is not a replacement for proper medical care or therapy. If you are struggling, please seek help from a qualified health professional. Let's jump in. Today's episode is called best case scenarios, and this is great if you are a worrier or if you live on planet Earth. We have a saying we like to use quite a bit called giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. Cat, do you want to maybe go into a little bit about what that is and how it kind of fits into best case scenarios?

00:01:28 - Catherine Collins

Yeah. I first heard of giving someone the benefit of doubt. I mean, it's a phrase we all use, but in practice, I believe it was Dr. Gottman, who is a renowned marriage therapist, who uses this to help couples better communicate and think better of each other. And it really just comes down to thinking the best of the other person. So, for example, if your spouse doesn't do the dishes like you asked, right, and you come down the next morning and the dishes are all done, most of us would get mad. But if you're trying to practice this concept of benefit of the doubt or the best case scenario, then you would think, they must have been so exhausted last night, they must have forgotten their day at work, must have been so hard, or the kids must have been extra challenging. It's like you think of the best explanation that you can for that person, instead of thinking, wow, literally nobody listens to me in this house, or no one cares about me or whatever it is, because we automatically feel those negative traits. And this does not have to be used for a spouse. Like, there is not a spouse that lives in my house, it's me and my twins. But I often have to use this with them too, because they're kids and they're learning, and I often have to think, okay, what's the most generous explanation? Okay, the most generous explanation is after they did their homework and they got ready for bed, they totally forgot that I said, pick up all the laundry and bring it down to the washing machine or whatever, rather than nobody helps me in this whatever it is. So, benefit of the doubt, best case scenario, most generous explanation. We're basically talking about the same thing with all of those phrases.

00:03:29 - Andrew Dewar

I like that. I think it's a hard thing to do in the beginning. So hard, because I think we're hardwired to expect the worst in our situations as a form of self protection.

00:03:41 - Catherine Collins


00:03:42 - Andrew Dewar

And that's great. When you're in the forest and you hear rustling in the woods or whatever nature does, I'm not too sure anymore.

00:03:52 - Catherine Collins

We like to walk to nature. Very nature.

00:03:58 - Andrew Dewar

I guess what I'm saying is, you hear that rustling and our brains are designed, it's the amygdala. That kind of like, sounds off the warning signals that, oh, my gosh, that could be a tiger. Even though there are no tigers anywhere near. I live. Not a lot of winter tigers around here, but you never know. It could be the first. When you have that happen, it's likely a bird. But the point is, our brains are hardwired to predict the worst as a survival mechanism. So what we need to do is kind of turn that switch off in certain situations by prompting ourselves, what is the best case scenario? Can I give this person the benefit of the doubt? When this person doesn't do the dishes or doesn't do the thing that I asked, what is the nicest thing that we can do or predict for them? How can we advocate for them basically in our own minds? Because we're also the prosecutor at that point. I know for myself when it comes to everything, I just expect the worst. And I've gotten a lot better at it. But it's very hard. If you've had traumas, which again, if you're on earth, you probably have had some, and if you have those, it's really a challenge to start expecting better. But it is possible. And I think it was w. Clement Stone who, he worked with Napoleon Hill later on in life, but he was like a conspiring optimist or an eternal optimist. And he always thought the universe was conspiring to help him. And I heard that the first time, and I thought, that must be amazing to think. And you work on it, and the more you get it. If you start kind of going into every situation, what's the best thing that can happen rather than what's the worst? Your life changes. You start to get excited about things rather than dreading every single thing.

00:06:04 - Catherine Collins

It is hard to adjust. And you could go months thinking the best case scenario, and then somebody does something to hurt you and you're like, I knew I couldn't trust that people were going to be good. And then you can easily fall back into it. But I think it is a survival mechanism. I think it's a way that parents try to keep their kids safe, too. It's like when you go out in the world, people are going to try to screw you over, they're going to try to scam you and take your money, and you always need to be on your guard, and you need to watch out. You need to watch out for people lying to you. And that's what parents do to protect their kids and try to make sure that they're safe in the world. So you get out into the world and now we're saying, well, that creates a lot of anxiety. So what is the best possible answer and solution? What's the most generous thing we can think of? For all the people we keep talking about people driving, someone, cutting you off, I hope they're okay. I wonder if they're rushing to an emergency.

00:07:05 - Andrew Dewar

Yeah, I wonder what is going on in their life that has made them so upset, so angry, so bitter, whatever it might be. As you were saying, like all the stuff about anxiety, I put my hand up and then I realized it was a podcast and nobody's going to see that. But my point is that when you're going through these things, it's really hard. If your default is to get angry, if you default to anger, you're always going to be unhappy with this stuff. Whereas when you give somebody the benefit of the doubt and when you start thinking, best case scenario, you can sympathize with their position and it just makes you a better human, I find, rather than getting anger, because anger just hurts you. And I'll say that every episode until the whole world's happy, but I think that's just one of those things. It's way nicer to give people the benefit of the doubt. I'm working on my kids. I know you are too. Working on my kids, meaning asking them, I know you think that this person hurt you because of this, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe their phone died and they couldn't call you.

00:08:17 - Catherine Collins

Yeah, or this person didn't call you back or this person, maybe they didn't ghost you. Maybe their mom told them they had to come to dinner, come downstairs to dinner or something like that.

00:08:27 - Andrew Dewar

That's a good one.

00:08:28 - Catherine Collins

So you try to think of the best case scenario. And I'm new to this lesson, and I went through a divorce around two years ago, and I've often thought, like, this is something I learned kind of late. So I'm not coming at this as the expert. Like, oh, everyone should do this with their spouse. It makes for the best marriages or something like that. What I am saying is that in practice, when I've used this with friends and kids and people I love and care about, it has created a lot more peace within me. And I've talked to friends who are married about this, and I'm like, this might help you. I learned it kind of late, but maybe it will help you. But I think about my mom friends, and I hope people give me this amount of grace. But let's say a mom friend doesn't write you back or doesn't answer your text quickly, and it hurts because maybe you were supposed to go get plans, or maybe you were supposed to do something. Usually I'm the one people are waiting on, but it's the best case scenario. It's the most generous explanation to think, oh, gosh, I wonder if she's okay. Wonder if she needs help. I bet her kids are going through a hard time right now. She must be so busy. I know this friend loves me and wants to see me, but things must be crazy over there right now as opposed to this person's cut me out of their life. They never invite me anywhere anymore. We just give people the thoughts that we hope they think about us when we get busy and can't do things or respond quickly.

00:10:13 - Andrew Dewar

Yeah, that's a great way of phrasing it. And a lot of times in life, if we can just put ourself in the other person's shoes and think, what would I want them to think about me? We can be a little easier on ourselves. How would you handle a situation when somebody does something and you know, they know better?

00:10:33 - Catherine Collins

I think that if we are in the best version of ourselves or we're trying to give them the benefit of the doubt and the best explanation, I think that I would try to embody the thought that I have done things that I regret when I knew better. I have made mistakes. I have said things that I didn't mean to say. I have yelled when I didn't mean to yell. And even though this person knows better, I'd like to think that if they were feeling their best self, they would have done better. So this was about them and not me. Of course. That's when I'm in my best version of myself. I don't always give people that level of graciousness, but that's the ideal. It's to become so strong and so confident within yourself that you can look at somebody and be like, I feel for them and I empathize with them because they're making a mistake right now. They'll probably regret it and they'll probably feel bad about it. And I've done that, too. And that's going to be a really hard thing to feel when all the chips fall.

00:11:55 - Andrew Dewar

Yeah. I often say, just because you know better doesn't mean you know how to do better. Meaning we all know that we're not supposed to or supposed to, that we shouldn't treat people the way we wouldn't want to be treated. But sometimes we do. And it's unfortunate, but it happens. It happens to the best of us. I think even Gandhi got mad at a grocery clerk once, but maybe not.

00:12:19 - Catherine Collins

Stop. Make it out stop.

00:12:23 - Andrew Dewar

I have never met Gandhi. And yeah, I have no clue. It wasn't in the movie. But my point is that I think giving benefit of the doubt can also be extended to yourself. Because I think a lot of times we will come at ourselves harder than we'll come at anybody else internally, and we don't really recognize it a lot of the time. But to have that softness on yourself is really hard. So to say, you know what? I know I'm supposed to go for a walk every day. I don't because it's cold out and I get on myself pretty badly about that. But I can say just because I know better doesn't mean I know how to do better. Yet I'm working at it. We're all works in progress. Nobody is ever free of improving themselves. There's always something else you can do.

00:13:11 - Catherine Collins

And if you find it hard to sort of extend this to somebody else, it's helpful to take the time to think about a time you wish someone would have given you the benefit of the doubt. I remember when I was going through my divorce process, I went from chatting to all the other moms that pick up, and that was like my 1520 minutes of social time every day for my work at home lifestyle and caught up on all the kids and set up playdates and things like that. And I went from this sort of chatty person to having this major life change. And if anyone's listening has been through a divorce, you know that it's extraordinarily difficult experience to go through. And I think I sort of became a zombie. I just was going through the motion and picking up my kids, and probably, like, three months into it, I got a text from another mom, and she said, have I done something to offend you? Like, you haven't talked to me in three months. Did I say something wrong? Like, we haven't gotten the kids together, and it's just like, no, it has nothing to do with you. I'm actually getting a divorce. And I don't know, it's just, like, zapped me. But how nice would it have been to maybe ask the person if they're okay or extend that? But we're all so inwardly focused, our ego rules all the time, that we always say, gosh, it must be about me. Must have said something. My kid must have done something, because this mom has just all of a sudden stopped talking to me.

00:14:58 - Andrew Dewar

Yeah, I'm sure she went back in her mind and probably found an example of why you might not be talking to her anymore.

00:15:05 - Catherine Collins

I'm sure she's like, maybe I said this, maybe I said that, and I said, I'm really sorry that my behavior changed and you thought it was something about you. It was not my intention. I'm just going through this thing. And then it was like, okay, well, if you want to come over and talk about it, you want to do this, you want to do that. I'm like, I'm okay. I was still in zombie mode at that point. But if you think about a time like that where maybe somebody misjudged you or caught you at a bad moment or something like that, maybe you ran into at the grocery store at the exact moment your kid was having a tantrum, you're like, oh, you want them to think the best of you? Like, oh, her kids are probably great all the time. How frustrating must it have been that I caught her at that exact bad moment or whatever it is. Think about a time where you were like that, and that can help you sort of extend that to someone else, because it's not easy.

00:15:58 - Andrew Dewar

It's not? No, because we always think it's about us, and it rarely is. That's the reality of it. Whether it's ignoring somebody because they have a major life event going on, or if because you ignored somebody on the sidewalk because your mind was so far out, but those people, anyone outside of us, is thinking, oh, I must have done something. We tend to think the worst of ourselves, but again, giving them the benefit of the doubt and you the benefit of the doubt solves a lot of those issues because you're not coming at it from this perspective of something's wrong. Oh, my gosh.

00:16:39 - Catherine Collins

Yeah, you make a good point.

00:16:41 - Andrew Dewar

Really? I never do that.

00:16:44 - Catherine Collins

You made a good point that we can also extend this to ourselves. You tried the best you could today. You did so many great things. You forgot to put the sheets on your bed. Oh, well, you did this. This today.

00:16:59 - Andrew Dewar

You got dressed. Good for you. That's like best case memory, folks. Yeah. We do not strive for perfection on the five year you podcast, but we do strive to improve ourselves every week. So you're listening to this, and you're probably wondering, well, how do I do this? Right? How do I go from a position where I absolutely feel like my significant other, my kids, my parents, my coworkers are doing everything despite me, because let's face it, sometimes people do. How do I go and start this peace and loving way of at least giving people the benefit of the doubt? Because to me, I kind of view it as a spectrum, right? It's like it's all my fault. It's all their fault. Worst case and best case. And there's kind of like this needle in the middle that's kind of going from zero to 100. And what would you suggest to people to get started, Cat?

00:17:58 - Catherine Collins

I would just say, try it once a day. Try it on somebody close to you. We don't expect anyone to wake up and ride the rainbow unicycle in the morning and they're just sprinkling happy dust on everyone and all as well. Take it to the people closest to you, your parents, your significant other, your kids, your best friend. And if you feel like a little ick during the day, or, like, why didn't they answer? Or, I can't believe that she said that to me or whatever. Try to think up the best possible explanation, the most generous thing you can think of for that person, and see how it makes you feel. Because a lot of people think, oh, you're just making an excuse for them, or you're not setting up a good enough boundary. See how it makes you feel to think, oh, man, I wonder what happened. We're good. We're besties. Whatever. Something must have come up. That's why this person was late, or whatever.

00:19:05 - Andrew Dewar

That's a good idea.

00:19:06 - Catherine Collins

Try it on. See how it feels.

00:19:09 - Andrew Dewar

I've got an example that literally just happened before we started filming, I sent a friend a message. And I also have been going through a divorce the past year, and I'm really just starting to kind of get back to new normal, whatever that you want to call it is. So I'm slowly starting to reach out to people and say, hey, do you want to go grab a coffee or eat lunch, supper or whatever? So I reached out to somebody on Wednesday, and it's Saturday. As we're filming this right now, and I didn't get anything back from them, my first thought is, oh, maybe they don't want to talk to somebody who's divorced. Maybe they hate me. Maybe somebody has said something about me. Maybe it's this, maybe it's that. All those thoughts came and I just kind of entertained them for a minute. And we're going to do an episode about intrusive thoughts and stuff like that later on. But what I started to do is just make fun of myself. It's like, yeah, that's what happened. You know what? You saw them two weeks ago in the grocery store. They were super happy to see you, but somehow in the last two weeks they resent you. So this morning I thought, oh, I haven't heard back from them yet. I wonder if they're okay, was my thought. Again, I didn't think it right away. I mean, there's a little bit of time lapse there, but it kind of becomes that where you start kind of trying to be a good citizen of the earth and say, what could possibly be happening right now, that this person who normally gets back to me at least within 24 hours, has gone several days without getting back to me. Like, is somebody sick? Is somebody died? Are they on a trip that I didn't know about and giving yourself those benefits and. Yeah, no, it's just, they were busy. Just the way life goes. We're all busy. But I felt the best when I gave the benefit of the doubt out of all those times.

00:20:59 - Catherine Collins

I think that's great. And I think it shows that you are in the process of practicing this, as am I, because you have those initial thoughts. In fact, right when you said, I have a good example of something with a friend earlier, and I was like, this is about me, what did I. That's what this is about.

00:21:21 - Andrew Dewar

It's always about us, right? Not about me, you. You know what I mean? It's always about the self.

00:21:27 - Catherine Collins

It's like Airpods to work and you had to be, had to give her the benefit of the doubt. She's not dumb. She can work her Airpods. But the right next thought is like you said, then you think, oh, I wonder if they're okay. It is probably not about me because I'm sitting right here, whatever it is. And so eventually the hope is that your default is the most generous explanation. But getting there in the end is a good in process task.

00:21:59 - Andrew Dewar

I love that you literally had to go through this process while we were doing this. Right now, I think it's just a testament of how often it comes up.

00:22:06 - Catherine Collins

Yeah, it's true.

00:22:07 - Andrew Dewar

It comes up a lot. It's not easy, but becoming the best version of yourself, it's going to take some effort, it's going to take some letting go of stuff, it's going to take on new habits. And the more you can find these little ways to do it, that's when you can really celebrate your success. And when you're celebrating your successes with this stuff like Cat and I just did, we're not talking about going out for a party, though. Up to you. But when you celebrate those little party, yeah, or going out for a walk in nature or anything like that, hard passes on all those things. But when you look at things and you kind of go, oh, right, I'm getting better here. I'm not stewing about how everybody might be thinking about me. Truth is, nobody probably is, because we're all thinking about ourselves more than anything, and that's okay. But when you can practice this and you kind of notice these little things inside yourself, that's when the real change starts to happen. That's when you know the new pathways in your brain are getting carved out, new neurons are firing together, all these cool things are happening inside of you and it's very powerful. It is. It's pretty awesome. So I would say the challenge for this week is today or tomorrow or all week, if you want. Start asking yourself what's the best thing that can happen? And whenever you find yourself getting bothered by somebody else or yourself, give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You deserve it and so do they.

00:23:40 - Catherine Collins

I love that. Thanks, everyone. Now we are going to move on to the glimmers. And glimmers are these sparkly, shiny, happy things that light us up. Could be a book, an app, something we bought, something funny our kids said, really anything that just makes us smile. We like to draw attention to the things know we're happy about, we're grateful for, and we just like sharing that with you. You want to go first, Andrew?

00:24:08 - Andrew Dewar

Yeah. Mine was today, this morning, my sister, who is severely autistic and who you've listened to a few of the other episodes. We've had a very, very rocky road together. She came over with my parents to see my new place. And historically, when I am in the room with this person, to say I am tense is way too much of a compliment. But this time I was completely relaxed. I was hospitable, caring, kind, and it just showed me that I am healing this relationship quite quickly after 30 years of it being very painful and repressed. So I was just kind of like, this is really nice that I can be in this spot with her again. Small change, but makes a big difference. So that's my glimmer. How about yours?

00:25:03 - Catherine Collins

A beautiful glimmer. I love that mine was just about the thrift store, but I mean, you healing relationship with your sister is super, way more beautiful than this. But I feel like half my glimmers are going to be about the thrift store. But today was 50% off day, and I found this sweater that I'm wearing. If you watch our podcast on YouTube, you can see it, but it's super cute. Banana Republic's got hearts on it. And ladies and gentlemen, I had a $10 coupon, and so my total came out to a whopping $0.60 today at the thrift store. And I'm going to go with a good day. It's very glimmery.

00:25:46 - Andrew Dewar

Well done. Well done.

00:25:48 - Catherine Collins

Thank you. I would curtsy, but I'm sitting down right now. But thank you.

00:25:51 - Andrew Dewar

Right. All right, everybody. Well, we hope you have a great week, and we will see you next time.

00:25:56 - Catherine Collins

See ya.

00:25:57 - Andrew Dewar

Remember, it doesn't matter where you've started from or where you're coming from. It matters where you're going.

00:26:02 - Catherine Collins

And we are rooting for you.

(This transcript was made using AI and has not been verified for it's accuracy.)