Dial a Counselor with Sybil Shaibu: Do you make assumptions?

Dail a Counselor with Sybil Shaibu: Do you make assumptions?

I’m sure that each one of us have at one point or the other made assumptions. Assumptions are a natural and normal part of our everyday life. Making assumptions come easily to us all, and that‘s because not much is required or needed.

Assumption is something that you assume to be the case, even without proof. Just have incomplete information about a situation or an issue and you have yourself a full blown assumption. That’s because once you don’t adequate information, you are bound to providing your own information. And if there’s one thing that people find easy to do, it’s filling in the blanks. Ironically, I hated filling in blanks kind of questions during exams while in school.

When you make an assumption, you tell yourself that something is true without actually having any evidence that it is. It’s all too easy to lead your life never questioning that you are assuming things to be facts. Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups-we make assumptions frequently and everyday (sometimes without realizing), about the world around us and even when we make major decisions.

Our assumptions are directly related to what we project onto others. Assumptions, projections and judgments are where the fights begin in our relationships.

Examples of typical assumptions people tend to make.

  • You don’t get promotion at work, so you assume you aren’t good at your job
  • You assume most people are bad at heart, so you don’t trust anyone you meet.
  • Your partner isn’t talking much to you these days, so you assume they are cheating on you.
  • Your friend decides to take another friend to a party, and you assume they are angry with you.

Assumptions have a direct influence on our moods; hence assumptions generate negative thinking patterns. ‘Assumptions tend to entail negative thought such as doubt. Cognitive behavioral therapists postulate that, our thoughts create our feelings, which tend to create our actions. Therefore, if your mind is full of negative assumptions the probability of you plunging yourself into repeat cycles of feeling awful is high.

Why do we make assumptions?

  • One school of thought actually believes that our brain is wired to make assumptions.
  • We make assumptions because they are an efficient way to process the world.
  • We make assumptions because we don’t realize that we are making them.
  • We make assumptions because assumptions are easier than dealing with facts.

Assumptions damage our capacity to relate to others. The downside about always making assumptions is that it tends to make you feel you know how others think and feel. Hence you stop listening and eventually that affects communication. This leads to difficulties in relationships.

Assumptions also block possibilities, that’s because assumptions obstruct your ability to think straight. We tend to assume that the way we see is the way things are, thus creating problems for ourselves.

Assumptions negatively affect our relationships in several significant ways. We unconsciously make assumptions and judgments about other people’s behavior. Other people’s intentions behind their behavior and our own behaviors and intentions

How to stop making Assumptions   

In as much as there might be some benefits to making assumptions. The negative side effects far outweigh the positives. Therefore, we need to find ways to overcoming or putting a stop to making assumptions. We can do so by:

  • Learning how to identify you are making assumptions. You know yourself more than anyone, as such you can easily tell when you start making assumptions. That means assumptions of all shapes and sizes not just the ones you deem as big assumptions.
  • Ask good questions about your assumptions. When you find yourself making assumptions, simply pause and ask yourself, ‘How do I know this? ’If the answer to is anything other than the actual facts then you’re at risk of making an incorrect assumption.

Assume nothing, only believe that which you have conclusive information about. Assumptions have a way of wrecking havoc into our lives, so that best way to go is to avoid making assumptions. I know that it sounds easier than done but it’s possible, and possible means attainable.

“Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness”-Marshall McLuhan.

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships”-Henry Winkler

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