Powerful Questions Podcast: What assumptions are you making?
When do we usually make assumptions? When other people get involved. Whenever a situation is unclear, we start making assumptions about a lot of things.
Imagine, the person you’ve been dating for several weeks doesn’t write you for 3 days. Of course, you’d build up a whole story around what is happening. You might think they are ghosting you, or they are just not that into you, any number of ideas. And these things could happen, absolutely. But so could 100 other things.
They could have an urgent issue at work they need to fix. They could have gone to visit their parents and left the phone in the bag for the whole weekend.
Usually, we choose only one story and convince ourselves this is the absolute truth. You might say: "Not me. In a case like this I would think about different options, like they are busy at work, or something has happened".
But… If you are unhappy about the fact that the person didn’t write you for 3 days, you might be making an assumption already. An assumption that it’s not ok to do that. That whatever happens, you can pick up the phone and write a short message. So you are giving the person options for the reason behind them not writing, but you are making an assumption that they should write you.
So in the words of Miguel Ruiz, author of the book “The Four Agreements”:
"Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama"
Be open. Talk to another person about what’s going on. Clarify what is their “standard” for writing and what is yours. Agree what is your common standard.
I am still definitely work in progress when it comes to not making assumptions, and I think it always remains a journey. It is so easy to think about everyone in a same way we think about ourselves.
What I want you to do now is: think about a situation where you were unhappy with someone. What assumptions were you making, or are still making? What assumptions are you making abut this person? What assumptions are you making about what is normal or should be done by all normal people?
Challenge those. Assume positive intent by the other person. Think whether what you believe is really a universal rule? Or is it just something you’ve been taught?
Challenge your assumptions. Give people a chance.