To Assume. . .

By Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.
Author of THE ART OF BEING, 101 Ways To Practice Purpose In Your Life
THE THIRD AGREEMENT: "Don't make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama." ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Once while hiking in the mountains a man observed two other men across the valley also walking along a narrow pathway. They were just far enough away that he could hear them talking, but could only make out the muffled sound of their voices. All the sudden one of the men turned to the other, shouted loudly at the top of his voice, and then violently shoved his companion off the pathway. The man rolled down the steep embankment to the bottom of the ravine unharmed. Because of his perspective and his rushing to a conclusion, the observer "assumed" he had just witnessed a violent act, but what he didn't see was the huge rattlesnake the man was about to step on before his friend bravely pushed him out of harms way. What he didn't hear were the words of an impassioned warning - he "assumed" they were words of anger.

Isn't it interesting how most of us tend to make assumptions about other people and situations before we have actually gathered all of the needed information? In fact, when we make an assumption we are really passing judgment without knowing all the details. This is why communication plays such a vital role in all healthy relationships. How often do we assume that the other person knows what we know, or knows what we need or desire to have happen, when if fact we are not all psychic? The result of this is often misplaced anger or resentment. How often have we assumed (judged) another persons behavior was unacceptable, only to later learn they were in great pain of some sort, which we were not aware of at the time? Lets make a sincere effort to garner all the details before we make assumptions.

Why? Well, as someone wisely once said, to ASS-U-ME makes an ass out of you and me.

How often have we assumed (judged) another persons behavior was unacceptable, only to later learn they were in great pain. . .

MINDFULNESS PRACTICE FOR TODAY:

Step into that place of conscious awareness
where you become the impartial observer. If you catch yourself making assumptions throughout the day, ask yourself what information you need before you can truly form a fair and healthy opinion regarding this issue? Then act accordingly, rather than reacting based on what appears to be. Watch and see how the trauma-drama becomes authentically mellow.

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