Recent ideas, articles and learnings

Don’t Assume

September 21, 2018

Please don’t make assumptions. If you don’t know, don’t guess. Be curious instead.

Assumptions are a sort of predicted text of the psyche. Inevitably wide of the mark and often toe-curlingly embarrassing.

It’s where our brains go to make sense of the unknown, create judgement and ultimately putting our noggins in the position of being right even when we don’t even know for sure.  Who cares if it’s truthful or real let’s make it up anyway so we can pretend we know?  Don’t make assumptions that everyone likes ABBA, cake, ice cream, chocolate, the works of Simon Cowell, sharing lifts, camping, cheap scent, the gym, smoothies or that bloke who plays Poldark on telly.

I’ve got a chronic allergy to pretty much all of the above but there is a “we are all in it together” blanket assumption that people like or dislike what we do and therein lies the alienation and cause for upset.

We make assumptions about what people will think or are thinking we might even live our lives by this flimsy notion, reacting, living in fear and maybe even blaming others for something we have conjured up.

When we make an assumption it is to salve our fears of not knowing and, as wobbly humans, we hate uncertainty and thus set ourselves up for drama and misunderstanding. Even knowing for sure isn’t always the answer as Einstein once said “Any fool can know. The point is to understand”.

We can create nasty scenarios, false judgements and horrible conclusions on our false preconceptions. It really is very shaky ground.

We can create poisonous gossip, distrust and bad feeling on an inaccurate belief we wanted to prove was truth or wanted to be right.  You can conclude someone loves you, hates you, is lying to you, is rejecting you or is your enemy; all with no basis in reality.

It can be a wild and lovely dream or a hostile and horrible nightmare of your own creation. Assume, as they say, and you make an “Ass” out of “U” and “Me”.

You can create emotional poison with assumptions that can break relationships and bring you to your knees. “She had red hair so I knew she was trouble” to “I’m not the sort of person luck happens to” are simple, corrosive assumptions which will end unhappily.

Conflicts are created when assumptions create unnecessary distrust, relationships fall apart on wild guesses “they didn’t return my call because they don’t care” even when they may have been in a tunnel.

The more fear you carry, the more assumptions you pack for self protection. It may feel like your flimsy falsehoods are right as they temporarily give you relief but it wont end well.

What to do

  • Learn to ask questions, be a seeker of the truth not a guesser, communicate clearly what you want and don’t hide it behind the perceived failings of another.
  • It’s so easy to blame something or someone else on account of our own fears and distorted perceptions.
  • Have the courage to be curious rather than rely on suspicion or using your own narrow field as a barometer.
  • Rid yourself of hiding behind assumptions and there is a certain magic to be had in discovery, freedom from disappointment and the wonderful carefree joy of not always having to jolly well know.

Ideas, Articles and Learnings
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