What makes an ass out of you and me?
When we assume, we make an ass out of u and me.
Assuming means we mind read instead of asking clarifying questions and getting the facts.
Yes, yes – I have heard it all before from my Coaching Clients:
- ‘But we’ve known each other since high school.’
- ‘They don’t have to say anything; I know what that face means.’
- Whenever he asks about the price it means he’s worried about money.’
- ‘She mentioned the report, so I assume she finished it/emailed it/saw it.’
- ‘They have children so they’ll want to finish up early.’
- ‘Lockdown in Melbourne must be terrible.’
- ‘She’s almost 70 years old, so she won’t be interested in that.’
- ‘It’s too far for them to travel, they won’t want to come.’
- ‘They always make comments about the children; they don’t think I am a good parent.’
- ‘He’s silent which means he’s angry.’
Yes, yes – you may know them really, really well.
But you don’t know the inside of their mind.
When we assume we know what someone is thinking/meaning/wanting/feeling we are removing them from our interaction with them altogether.
When we assume, we take over, not only our role in our interaction ‘with’ them but their role as well.
Instead of interacting with them in real life, the interaction happens in our minds instead.
Not in reality.
And not with them.
Technically, they don’t even need to be there do they?
As we have a little conversation with ourselves about what we think/feel/mean they are thinking/ feeling/meaning.
We do not, cannot conceive of all the precious intricacies of the inside of another person’s mind.
Let alone all their life experiences and what they made them mean, what they say to themselves, the pictures they create in their minds, their values, the immensity of the private dreams they have for themselves, their soul secrets.
And how wonderful!
For when we realise and accept there’s a lot we don’t know about these simple and complicated, unusual and interesting creatures with which we get to share this journey, life opens up exponentially.
I’d like to be able to say the only person we ever truly know is ourselves, but I’d be lying.
Lots of people are on autopilot with themselves too.
Too much in their heads and not enough in their hearts, guts and bodies.
Distracted by fake ‘reality’ on devices and not living, not present to the reality right in front of them.
Completely convinced of their own brokenness and believing their own oft repeated wretched story to invest in the looking, listening and asking of their inner God.
But if it’s not safe on the ‘inside’ why not lift our eyes and go outside?
Not as blessed George Michael was famously caught doing.
Let’s go outside and ask.
Get out of our heads and what we think we know about them and just ask them.
And at the very least, asking about them will help us Get Off Self for a while?
Could this be a solution for depression and anxiety?!
Ask them what they mean, specifically.
- ‘Hey you’ve got an interesting expression on your face right now, what’s going on for you?’
- ‘Look, we’ve known each other since high school, but just in case, do you still think x…y…z?’
- ‘You mentioned the report, did you finish it/email it/read it?’
- ‘What did you think of it?’
- ‘I get you guys have children, what time do you want to finish up?’
- ‘Lockdown in Melbourne looks terrible on the news, how’s it going for you?’
- ‘She’s almost 70 years old, but you never know – I’ll ask her if she’s interested.’
- ‘It’s a long way for them to travel, I’ll invite them and let’s see if they can make it.’
- ‘You always make comments about the children, thank you for caring about them. What is it that you notice? What do you think about that?’
- ‘I feel uncomfortable because you aren’t saying anything? Do you need some time? I’m interested – will you tell me what’s going on for you?’
Just ask them clarifying questions.
Because it’s easy and interesting and fun.
And it reduces unnecessary drama in your life.
You get to find out cool and bizarre stuff about people.
You get to grow a deeper understanding about those you LOVE.
Stop making an ass out of you and me.
Believe me, you will be ever so grateful the day you stop assuming.
Your Life Changing Coach
GENERATIVE CHANGE is change that builds upon itself.
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