Making Assumptions

“Don’t build roadblocks out of assumptions.”
Lorii Myers

We all make assumptions and believe them to be true. We make assumptions based on our observations of the behaviour of others, past experience and what we perceive they might be thinking.

Our assumptions can lead to misunderstandings and a lack of communication, because you think you already know the answer or understand what is going on. We can also take things personally and feel awkward about a situation so we ignore it, or gossip about it to others while avoiding contact with the person concerned. We are afraid to ask for direct clarification by having a conversation.

We tend to look for mirror images of ourselves in others. We assume that others think and feel the same way as we do and make the same judgments. We imagine the truth and do not see the reality of how things are or the potential for what could be.

If we take time to understand why people behave the way they do, then we can make better judgments of their behaviour and possibly prevent ourselves from making some errors of judgment.

I believe the most effective thing we can do to stop making assumptions is to start asking more questions: “Is what I am thinking correct?” “Am I missing something?” “Is this really true?” We also need to be open to answer questions from others when they are trying to get information from us so that they are not making assumptions either!

“If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don’t understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.”
Miguel Ruiz


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