We do not look at ourselves and others in the same way. People naturally see themselves in the light of their intentions, but they measure others according to their actions. Or to put it the way poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow did: “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”
We naturally try to see ourselves in the most positive light. And that’s okay as long as we’re being honest with ourselves. But we really ought to give others the same benefit of the doubt that we give ourselves.
John C. Maxwell, Winning with People: Discover the People Principles That Work for You Every Time (Nashville, TN: HarperCollins Leadership, 2007).