Part 3- Don’t Make Assumptions
Assumption: (noun). A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.
If you’re just making your way to this Four Agreements segment, you can view the posts for the first and second agreement: Be Impeccable With Your Words and Don’t Take Anything Personally, by clicking here!
Welcome to part three, agreement three, Don’t Make Assumptions! This agreement has recently saved me from so much unnecessary stress and I’m more than thankful this agreement crossed my path when it did. Let’s get straight into it!
“We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real.”
– Don Miguel Ruiz
Don says we create a lot of emotional poison by making assumptions and I agree! This agreement is actually somewhat connected to the second agreement, Don’t Take Anything Personally. For instance, let’s say you call an individual and they do not answer. Not only did they not answer, they did not return your call. Now let’s say you make the assumption that there is an issue between the both of you because clearly there has to be right? They did not answer your call and it’s the end of the day and no call back, so clearly there has to be a problem between you two that you’re unaware of right? You are now somewhat offended and you’re taking it personally. How dare this person treat you like this over a problem you’re unaware of! Keep the imagination running. Now, you’re both at an event and you intentionally go out of your way to ignore said individual and you’re making it obvious you’re ignoring them…greeting everyone around them and skipping over them. The other individual senses some hostility, but instead of making the assumption that there is an issue and taking your disregard of their presence personally, they ask to speak to you privately.
They ASK if everything is okay. You then bring up the phone call incident and guess what…it was a misunderstanding! They explain how their workload picked up and you called while they were in a meeting, they had every intention of calling back but they were so drained by the end of the day they fell asleep and simply forgot the next day. They also now feel bad and apologize because they would never intentionally ignore you or want you to feel ignored. This was a mature interaction. Imagine if the other individual matched your original energy and started ignoring you at the event too and this hostility carried on for days, weeks, or even months over a simple misunderstanding…over an assumption. Don says when we make assumptions, and believe we are right about the assumptions; we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong. This was perfectly played out in this scenario.
“Without making assumptions your word becomes impeccable. With clear communication, all of your relationships will change, not only with your partner, but with everyone else. You won’t need to make assumptions because everything becomes so clear.”
-Don Miguel Ruiz
I don’t know about you, but clarity sounds beautiful to me. I use to make assumptions about everything, down to a person ending a text with a period when they usually don’t use punctuation marks. I would say, “Oh they’re upset with me” “They no longer want to be friends” “I’m a horrible texter and now they’re frustrated with me,” so on and so forth. I’d come to conclusions based on feelings and deep rooted insecurities instead of facts. As a result, I’d trap myself in a prison of my own thoughts. It was never a good feeling, it would always leave me emotionally drained.
It only takes one seed of doubt, fear, or sadness to be planted for a whole forest full of it to grow. When we make assumptions and take them as truth this is what we are potentially doing to ourselves. We are potentially and unknowingly planting a forest rooted in not only a hypothetical, but also of that fear, doubt, or sadness.
When you are able to, ask questions for clarity! If you can’t ask questions, assume you know nothing about whatever you’re inquiring about…well because you don’t. Don’t assume your partner or friends know what you want, how you want to be loved, or what makes you happy. Don’t assume when someone treats you a certain way that it’s because of something you did and don’t take it personally either. Don’t assume the intentions of the people who enter your life. If you don’t have proof, if you don’t have all the answers, don’t assume…period!
“Just saying this sounds easy, but I understand that it is difficult to do. It is difficult because we so often do exactly the opposite… Becoming aware of these habits and understanding the importance of this agreement is the first step. But understanding its importance is not enough. Information or an idea is merely the seed in your mind. What will really makes the difference is action”
-Don Miguel Ruiz
Everything is always easier said than done, I get it. It takes a level of mental discipline, practice, and effort to ingrain these agreements into our way of life. What really helped me with this agreement is checking myself when I find myself assuming something because of my emotions when there is no proof. I literally stop in my train of thought and say in my head, “I honestly have no idea, I’m unable to ask the questions I need answers to, so I’m no longer making this an inner topic of conversation.” Not only do I say this to myself, I BELIEVE it and stop thinking about it. It has for sure taken me sometime, but overtime it’s become second hand nature. Once I started doing this, I realized how often I made assumptions…and it was often. I rarely make assumptions now. I’m at peace with the idea that I simply do not know everything and there are things I may want to know that I won’t get the answers to. Releasing the need of validating my own inner ego that craves to know everything has brought me so much peace and I’m honestly extremely proud of the progress I’m making in my personal growth by implementing these agreements.
If you can ask, ask! If you can’t, don’t assume…because you actually don’t know! Don’t make assumptions and practice the other two agreements I’ve covered so far as well; Be Impeccable With Your Word and Take Nothing Personally. Actively implement these agreements into your life and let me know how your world changes! There is only one more agreement to cover that ends this segment, but for now remember if you don’t have the answers and there is no proof, you simply don’t know and that’s okay! Start checking yourself when you find yourself making assumptions. Why? Because that’s #WhatChiSaid! See you next time! Don’t forget to subscirbe below so you can be notified anytime a new post drops!
Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
~These are just my thoughts and opinions
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~Comments and/or feedback always welcomed!