It’s interesting how the human mind works. We have a need to justify everything, explain and understand everything to feel safe. If someone tells us something we make assumptions. If they don’t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. It’s kinda insidious.
Over the years I’ve heard people say “when you assume you make an ass out of you and me.” And it’s very true. That’s why it’s important to reduce the act of assuming and replace it with questioning. Ask questions. And continue to ask questions until you are clear. If you don’t understand or if something doesn’t make sense – ask instead of assume because not everyone thinks the way you do. Have the courage to ask questions until you are clear as you can be. Imagine if you approached all of your relationships without assuming? Your communication style would change completely and your relationships will no longer suffer from conflicts created by mistaken assumptions. Now, this is not to say that this is the be all and end all to relationship conflict. But what I learned is that when I make assumptions in my relationships I am wrong for assuming that people are thinking the way I think, feel the way I feel. When I ask questions and don’t assume I find that I am less disappointed and there is less conflict.
Starting today, try to change your communication style by not assuming. Instead of going with the assumption that “they know, should know or understand” ask questions to gain the clarity you both need in order not to assume.