Don't Make Assumptions

The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz

   We have a tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we BELIEVE they are the truth.

   We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking, we take it personally, and then we blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word.

   We only see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. We don't perceive things the way they are; we literally dream things up in our imagination. Because we are afraid to ask for clarification, we make assumptions that we believe are right, then we defend our assumptions and try to make others wrong.

   Making assumptions in our relationships is really asking for problems. Often we make the assumption that our partners know what we think and that we don't have to tell them what we want. We assume they are going to do what we want, because they know us so well. If they don't do what we assume they should do, we feel hurt and say, "You should have known."

   Another example: You decide to get married, and you make the assumption that your partner sees marriage the same way that you do. Then you live together and you find out this is not true. This creates a lot of conflict, but you still don't try to clarify your feelings about marriage. The husband comes home from work and his wife is mad - and he doesn't know why. Maybe it's because his wife made an assumption.

   Without telling him what she wants, she makes an assumption that he knows her so well that he knows what she wants, as if he can read her mind. She gets upset because he fails to meet her expectations. Making assumptions in relationships leads to a lot of difficulties, a lot of misunderstandings with people we love.

   The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions. Make sure the communication is clear. If you don't understand, ask. Have the courage to ask questions until you are as clear as you can be. Once you hear the answer, you will not have to make assumptions because you will know the truth.

- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

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