The other day I came face to face with a girl in the shopping mall. She had greasy hair, wore baggy clothing and had a black eye. For a moment my heart stopped and I quickly turned away, almost horrified by her sight.
As I went about my way, something struck me. I wondered if she was okay and debated whether I should turn back to ask her. But I didn’t and I determined she must have been punched in the eye by her abuser.
Now, how did I really know that?
Well, based on her appearance I assumed she was abused, but then I scratched that thought. Only to make other assumptions: maybe she got injured in her martial arts class or maybe she’s klutzy or…
Wow, I created a fiction story on a girl I most likely will never see again. Yet her brief presence has inspired me to be a better version of me.
In a perfect world no one would make assumptions. But we’re all works in progress. So the next time you catch yourself assuming. Here are 4 tips to help you:
1. Ask questions for clarification.
The assumptions you make regarding strangers, colleagues, friends or relatives lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary drama.
2. Ask for what you want.
No one is a mind-reader and it’s not fair to assume that the person you’re with will know exactly what you need, even if they’ve known you for a long time.
3. Perceive things as they are.
The fiction story you create about someone or a situation is based on a fantasy, not facts.
4. Let go of the need to be right.
We waste energy defending our position based on our assumptions. Not only do we end up looking like an ass, we sabotage relationships.
Most importantly, would you want others to make assumptions about you?
Personally, I wouldn’t!
Though we are unable to control what others think about us. We do however, have the ability to create and promote healthy relationships.
Will you do your part?
Do you have any tips to add? Please leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you.