Is there a more succinct way of saying the below?:

You're much better at giving him the benefit of the doubt than I am.

In context, someone did something which me and another perceived as bad. The other person is more willing to give the user the benefit of the doubt than I am, and believes that the someone didn't mean it.

I've thought about saying "you're much more forgiving than I am", and "you're much more understanding than I am", but both of them imply the someone actually did something wrong, which isn't necessarily the case.


3 Answers 3


The best way to say this is probably:

You are much more trusting/trustful of him than I am.

This only implies that the listener is more inclined to trust "him" than you are.

This is not the exact same thing as "the benefit of the doubt", which implies that while something bad did - at least probably - happen, one assumes the the explanation involving the least malice - until proven otherwise. This doesn't always mean that you don't believe that someone did anything wrong, it can also mean that you assume they either made a mistake, or had a good reason/explanation. The concept can entail "trusting", "forgiving", and/or "understanding".

In this situation the best word depends on the exact circumstance. For instance, suppose a manager at a grocery store sees an employee eating some food. A trusting manager will assume they paid for it, and not bother asking. An understanding manager will say something such as "I had better not find out you didn't pay for that" in a pointed tone, giving the person a chance to go pay for it now if they had not. A forgiving manager will find out for certain, but only give the person a warning "you had better not do that again".

All of those cases are giving "the benefit of the doubt" to a differing degree. Otherwise the manager would check the cameras, and either know the employee was innocent - or fire them.


Giving the benefit of the doubt has to do with intellectual honesty more specifically than with trust, in my opinion. So there you go, for me the concise expression you're looking for is intellectually honest.


When I use the phrase 'benefit of the doubt,' it references the multiple options that could be applicable that may exist for someone or someone's actions, then going with the option that embraces a positive connotation, until I KNOW that any of the negative options apply - when safety is not a concern for the situation.

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