Remember the old nursery rhyme?
Never assume because it makes an ass out of u and me.
It was a great way to learn the spelling of the word assume, but I have always disagreed with the ending. I’m not sure that when someone makes an assumption about me that it makes me an ass too. I am certain it just makes them an ass.
Since I began writing I have dealt with many assumptions. Some of them have been my own, but most of them have been about a small segment of my readers. I am sure that every blogger that writes about provocative content has them too. I have two or three Assumers that think that every time I write something about narcissists, it’s about them and they take offence and tell others that I’m writing about them again.
To me, this behavior has been very telling and slightly humorous, especially since when I have written anything concerning them I have been very clear that it’s about them. I can count those articles on one hand. For instance, the woman that relentlessly stalked my blog for over a year. I pointedly called her out and asked her to participate openly, but she declined and preferred the same old passive aggressive route she was already on. Oh well.
She assumed my writing was about her and assumed this gave her the right to break the law by cyberstalking me. Assumptions can sometimes land you in jail. 🙂
I do not spend an inordinate amount of time anymore writing about specific individuals, unless it is to write something uplifting.
I am guilty of making assumptions.
When someone doesn’t call me back, I used to make assumptions. In the past my immediate assumption was that they were angry with me for some reason. That’s when the negative self-talk would begin. I have finally broken that bad habit. These days when that negative voice in my head gets started up with her bullshit, I put my foot firmly down and tell her NO. Sometimes when people don’t return your calls it’s simply because they are busy with life, or may have forgotten. It is not always about feelings. This person might be thinking about you everyday and might not have the time to sit down for a chat on the phone with you.
What some people do not realize is that when you are making assumptions, it is all on you. The person you are making the assumptions about has absolutely no idea what you’re thinking.
The definition of the word assume clearly states “without proof”. That should be enough to let you know that whenever you are making assumptions, you have no proof to back them up. So why do people do it?
I think many people start making assumptions as a way to find closure in situations they can not control. They need to have some kind of conclusion to a situation and have no other means to do it because the other involved party might have stopped participating.
One thing I have found to be true is that someone that consistently makes negative assumptions has a poor sense of self worth.
There is a great deal of fear in negative assumptions, even when they might sound strong with conviction. Holier than thou, Pollyannaish and judgemental people that are always making an assumption about how others feel, without ever addressing the other person, is one terrified individual under the skin. They have no idea about how anyone feels about anything because they are so busy trying to paint the world the way they see it. Assumptions are the only means they have because they are too scared to face the person they’re making assumptions about. They won’t ever come out of hiding to ask the questions to get the proof. It could also be that this fearful assuming individual wore out their welcome with the person they like to make assumptions about and that person stopped participating in their insanity a long time ago. Sadly, assumptions may be the only thing they have left to hang onto now.
Not everyone sees the world the way that you do and not everyone will see the person you make assumptions about the way that you do either. Even if they tell you they do, why would you continue to lead people down a negative path just so you can get closure, or build an army? Doesn’t life hold more promise for you, than that?
Years ago someone gave me a copy of Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. One of the four agreements is to Never Make Assumptions. When I first read that agreement I scoffed. I mean, really? Who does that? But as I read more I realized that I was one of those people that do that too. I made assumptions! I had the negative self-talk! That was also when I realized I needed to pay closer attention to those 4 agreements than I thought I did.
Learning how to stop making negative assumptions is not easy.
I think society bombards us with guilt and remorse and many of us turn that inwards. We expect and assume the worst of others. We live our lives with a bubbling internal soap opera. But we have the power to change what our inner voice tells us. Only we have the power to control the direction of our own thoughts. No one else has that power over us. It’s called free will and we all have it. We are born with it.
To continue to create inner conflict is to punish yourself.
Today, this minute, I want you to abolish at least one negative assumption you have about someone, or something. Just throw it out the window and replace it with a positive and self affirming thought. It can be about anything! It’s your choice! It’s your life!