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Don't Make Assumptions

The Third Agreement



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. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking – we take it personally – then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word… all the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooting in making assumptions and taking things personally.

– Don Miguel Ruiz


Stephen Covey once stated, “most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.” Our basis for assumption starts from the beginning, with each of us and our inability to quiet our ego and truly listen with an open mind and heart. When someone tells us something, we must initiate our listening by stopping everything, centering ourselves, taking a deep breath and saying “Okay, I want to better understand you.” If this truly is our state of mind then our first response might be a clarifying question or a confirming statement to the other person. This gives us an opportunity to make sense of something and/or acknowledge to the other person that we understand them.


So many of us, myself included, think that we are so selfless and unselfish BUT The Four Agreements will challenge that to it’s very core. If we are so eager to reply then we are not listening with intent to understand. If our reply is defensive then we are taking things personally. When we do this our immediate reactions is to make assumptions. Making assumptions and taking things personally will almost always challenge our word … all of which creates this environment of conflict that is exactly the polar opposite of what we intended by our communication.


If we make an assumption, that is on us. If it becomes real to us, that is on us. If we act on that assumption, that is on us. Stop and think for a moment, what lead us to that assumption? Did we care to ask questions? Or have we just cast ourselves as the lead actor in our own drama? Ask questions because you want to understand. This is not about us. This is about having all the facts so that our conclusions are based in the truth and not just a piece of it.


An assumption is a thing that is accepted as truth without proof. Imagine gossiping to our friends or family about our assumption that is unfounded. How does that make us look? What if they have more information on the topic than we do? Get my drift? Stop making an ASS of U and ME. We are better than this.


Ask!


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