This is a guest post on assumptions from Alyssa Troccoli, a fellow therapist who runs a private practice in Lake Oswego, Oregon called Peace by Piece Counseling. To learn more about Alyssa, you can check her out here.
Funny thing about assumptions. They don’t discriminate, we all experience them. What has been YOUR experience with assumptions? What role do you feel assumptions have played in your intimate relationships?
Assume the Position
Relationships with co-workers, bosses, family members, etc. I know that when I use the word assumption it can leave a bad taste in my mouth. What if I told you there are better ways to make this yucky word feel much better to stomach?
4 Key Things to Consider
1. Assume Others are Doing Their Best
Most of the time it’s easy to get upset when that guy cuts you off in traffic—What a jerk! What if you change your perspective and think, “Maybe his wife is going into labor..” I am not suggesting these moments are easy to change your thinking but your brain loves to exercise. By practicing this each day after a while you won’t feel you have to consciously think hard about it.
2. Assume Opportunity is out There
Assumptions and expectations are fraternal twins. They have some differences but can look extremely similar. Either one can be a negative effect on relationships.
If we assume there are other opportunities out there instead of assuming the worst it can give you an open heart and mind to the other doors that could be opening for you very soon! If you taint your vision with negative thoughts and assumptions, you won’t even be able to see there is another door, let alone 15 doors.
3. Keep an Open Mind
This is always relevant but absolutely key when making this shift in perspective. If you can keep an open mind the possibilities in your life are endless. What an exciting thought, right?
In keeping an open mind one way is to check with what you are telling yourself mentally in a situation where you may be becoming frustrated.
- What are you telling yourself about your experience?
- What are you telling yourself about the other person(s) that are in the situation?
- What words are actually being said versus what you think you heard?
- What is the story you are creating for yourself?
4. Assume Every Moment is an Opportunity to Learn
The beautiful fact about humans is that we are in control of our growth. We will grow as much as we put into steps towards growth. Think about your core self as a small plant and in order for it to grow you need to water it. There may be times in life you need to water more or less and it will always fluctuate and will always have the room and space to grow in different directions.
Although it is easy to make assumptions remember it is also easy to shift the assumption and make it serve your life better! I am assuming you have the best intentions and that each day you are alive on this earth is an opportunity to create a better you and connect with others around you.