Fourth Step: Don’t Make Assumptions.

How many times have we heard this? Too many to count. Assuming things sets us up to believe wrongfully something is true when it’s not. We all do it. It’s hard to conquer but we have to try.

Miscommunication is what fouls business deals, ruins marriages, and complicates friendships. Many deals, marriages, and friendships end as a result. Do you seem to have that happen a lot? Are you making assumptions? Are they about what others are thinking or doing? If we carry those assumptions without clarifying, we tend to take things personally and spew poison their way. We don’t mean to. It is the result of misinformation. How about we ask the other person what their intent is, what they think, and what they believe? We are most likely way off base.

How to remedy the situation? Ask for clarification. If it is not provided, check yourself. Stop any assumptions immediately. Chances are it may not even be worth your time. Yes, it’s hard, but learn to stop. It’s for your own peace of mind.

Whenever we make assumptions in a relationship, we discredit our significant other without realizing it. If we don’t communicate our wants and needs, thinking they should know these things, we expect them to read our minds. No one can do that. Early during my writing, I asked the Babe if he wanted me to stop because it took so much time. He said, “No, I don’t. I know it’s important to you, so it’s important to me, too.” Wow. I was way off base. I had to ask how he felt to learn that I was operating under a false assumption. I’m getting better at asking, that’s for sure.

Let’s stop creating drama around our assumptions. Growing up, I remember seeing on television and in the movies, a husband was clueless about something the wife wanted. She would tell him, “If you loved me, you’d know.” How silly. We are not mind-readers. The wife would pout, the husband would cower, and ugliness would ensue. Would you want to live like that?

Our different levels of make believe are interesting. My fantasy is different than yours, the Babe’s, and our BFF’s. The only limits are within our imaginations. We can have a very active fantasy life, based on assumptions about a smile from a stranger, a Facebook friend request, and those emails from Nigerian princes. You can pretty much bank on the fact the prince is out to fleece you, and the 20th friend request from “Eric Hill” or “Eric T Hill” is bogus. He tells all the girls their posts are wonderful and your face is beautiful. Won’t you send a friend request to him?

Seriously, watch out for weird, harassing messages. It’s the hazard of having a public page, but being an author demands a public page. Reporting and blocking does little good. It’s exasperating.

But back to the precept of not making any assumptions. Those are some good words to live by. Keeping our word impeccable, our not taking things personally, and not making assumptions are some good advice for all of us. What do you think? We have the Fourth Agreement tomorrow, as our Fifth Step. Get Ready! Your life is about to change, right along with mine. Hope we all get to a happier living arrangement, with good words to spare.

Off to do some work on my children’s book today. I’m e-mailing a copy of the work in progress to the printer for his advice. Exciting! Have a wonderful afternoon, and we’ll see each other tomorrow. Be safe out there, stay hydrated.