It’s human nature to make assumptions. If a friend doesn’t answer our text, we might assume that they are mad at us, if someone stands us up for a date, we assume that there must be something about us that turned them off, if our spouse comes home in a bad mood, maybe it was something we’ve done.
The damage really isn’t in the assumption. If we tend to overthink, over-analyze or ruminate; however, our suppositions can often lead us to creating a full story in our minds; one that may feel very real and can carry consequences. Sometimes our emotions take over and we follow with an action that we then regret, other times we inwardly carry the weight of something when it isn’t ours to carry. It can become an emotional roller coaster, creating more heartache and worry than was ever intended. We begin to see the situation through an emotional lens and not a factual one.
The first step is to ask ourselves “Am I making an assumption here? Is how I perceive it the way it actually happened? Did I fill in the blanks before getting all the facts?” Perhaps the text didn’t get answered because the friend simply got busy and forgot, perhaps we got stood up not because of anything we’ve done, but because the person ascribes to that kind of crummy behaviour, perhaps our spouse’s bad mood was caused by a bad day at work.
Ask questions with the intent to gather information. Allow the rational part of the brain to temper the emotional one. Facts before fill-ins – works every time 🙂
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@derobi