You Made An Assumption. Now Look What Happened.
By Robin Steven, Internal Operations Coach
What happens when you first hear or see something without having all the facts? You start making assumptions based on past behaviors, observations and experiences you have had. We immediately look for evidence to support our assumption or even try to bring other people along with us. Once you make an assumption, you are accepting it as true without actually having any proof.
Recently one of my friends was upset because a close friend was in town and had not contacted her. But, instead of calling her, she started making assumptions. And it is amazing what you tell yourself “She didn’t make time for me,” “She is not happy with me.” “I’m not important enough.” As she kept repeating these assumptions you could see the victim mentally set in. She began judging her friend and herself all because she did not have all the information.
From what I heard there was only two facts. That she is in town and she has not called yet. So I said stop making assumptions and call her. When she called her she found out she had a family emergency and began to feel horrible about all the assumptions she had made.
Taking action based on facts instead of the assumptions is more effective and nobody get hurts. If she had called her friend up with an attitude based on her assumption she could have ruined the relationship. Once she had the information all that anxiety went away and she had avoided making an ASS out of herself.
You must remember that people are not mind readers, not everyone is you, not everyone thinks the same way you think, not everyone sees life as you do and not everyone feels the same way you feel about things. As much as you would like to think you know what others are thinking, you don’t, no one does. Sometimes we think we have this super power to know the reason why people do the things they do (without asking them) which is pretty presumptuous.
Try turning this around. Do you believe that other people can read your mind? Would you prefer that someone make up a story (assumptions) about what you are thinking or feeling, or would you rather they ask you questions to get clarity? You may not get the answer you like or expect, but asking is always better than assuming.
We are surrounded by potential assumptions all day. Here are some examples:
So practice this, as soon as you realize you are making an ASSumption go over all the facts until you are clear about any given situation. If there are gaps in the facts ask questions to get clarity. Once you have all the answers there is no need for assumptions, there is just truth. Creating a habit of being clear will change your relationship with everyone around you. When you communicate in this manner your word becomes impeccable.
Assumptions ruin relationships!!