“I do not like to express an opinion on a matter unless I know the precise facts.” ~Albert Einstein
There are so many things I’ve said and done that I would take back and most of them are because I made an assumption. So many! This is one of my hardest lessons. I’ve learned not to take things personally pretty well. I’ve learned to be kind pretty well. I’ve learned to be honest pretty well. I try to do my best. But, geesh, do I make assumptions. I have assumed that when someone said something that they meant the exact opposite of what they really meant! I have assumed that if someone didn’t call me when they said they would it was because they didn’t like me. I assumed that when I found something wrong that I knew exactly who did it and why. What a jerk face I’ve been shown to be time and again. Often, though, the only person I’ve hurt is myself.
Part of the assuming issue is that we want to blame someone, ourself or someone else, for something which has gone wrong. We may also assume because we so often, through habitual thinking, go to the negative; thinking there is something wrong with us and that is why someone treated us badly. We get angry because we assume that we’re not good enough. Is it really time to read “I suppose I deserved that” again? What did I do wrong that they treated me that way? Only to find that our assumption was wrong! The only thing we did wrong was make an assumption. All that hurt for nothing.
With children we may find the proverbial broken vase and immediately think they were playing ball in the house again and broke it, after we’ve told them time and again not to play ball in the house. Anger ensues, yelling happens, then we find out we are completely WRONG, AGAIN! Children are just small people. Treat them with the same respect you would give an adult.
You think someone stood you up; you are hurt and angry. Sometimes a confrontational scenario plays in your mind. Ohhhhh, what a repetoire of clever verbage you come up with to assault them when they finally make an appeatance. They have no respect for your time! Then you check your calendar and, ooooops, WRONG, AGAIN! Then, unfortunately, you use all of those carefully chosen words on yourself, beating yourself up. Don’t do it. Move on!
You hear that someone said something that you don’t like one little bit! You again have that confrontational scene in your head and guess what? That’s right (correct assumption here) WRONG, AGAIN! It’s even worse when we actually follow through with our assaults based on assumption only to find out they we’re wrong!
A dear friend of mine had been out of touch. I called quite a few times without reply. After months I gave up. We had been good friends for years. I couldn’t understand her silence. I was hurt and confused. Then I finally heard from her almost a year later. She had been very sick. She hadn’t had the energy to get out of bed most days. She was consumed with her illness. I should have gone to her house. I should have left a note saying I was worried about her because I hadn’t heard from her. But, in my selfish ego mind, I was’t worried about her. I was worried that she was no longer my friend. I could have been there for her if I had taken more time to find out why she didn’t return my calls, instead of assuming she didn’t want to see me. I could have brought her soup and helped her with errands or anyting else she needed. But, I assumed. My loss.
We can avoid so much hurt and anguish if we could only stop assuming. Communicate! Just ask. Before you do anything, including getting angry, check the facts. Thank you, Herr Professor Remember to use your anger as a guide. Whenever you feel a negative emotion, stop, drop, and roll. No, that’s not it. Use your anger or hurt as an indicator that you have to be mindful of your thoughts. Realize what you are doing. Stop and get the facts. Just the facts, ma’am. No assumptions will be necessary. Thank you, ma’am. That will be all.
Ask questions. Don’t assume. Use your bongo to think good thoughts. Use it to realize that most of the time your assumption is merely a miscommunication, a mistake, or best of all, “the issue” turns out to be a good thing. In the end, it doesn’t hurt to hold off on judgment. If you can’t think something good, don’t think anything at all. I’m no Einstein, but I’m pretty sure assuming just makes an….. no I won’t go there.
I assume you’ll enjoy these affirmations:
- I hold everyone in love and respect.
- I realize that things are not always as they appear.
- I use my emotions as guides to chart my course.
- I have peace in knowing that everything happens for a good reason.
- I communicate in a way that allows people to feel safe and trusted.
Imagine celebrating a wonderful life event. All of your friends and family are there congratulating you. You don’t need to know what the event is about, just imagine it.