…Magic and fairy dust will rain down on you. Unicorns and pegasus will appear at your front door to carry you off into the rainbow sunset.
Okay, not really. But if you stop doing this one thing that I’m about to share with you, your relationships will all get way better. Still want to know, even with no rainbow sunset?
Here you go: Stop. Assuming.
That’s all. Just stop assuming that you know what your boyfriend, your spouse, your friend is thinking. Stop assuming that they must be mad at you, disappointed in you, doubtful about your relationship. Stop assuming that you know what’s best for them. You don’t. And your assumptions are destroying your relationships, one erroneous belief at a time.
The thing is that our assumptions are based on our perceptions (and often our projections). Here’s an example to illustrate my point: I was having a conversation with a client – we’ll call her Rachel – who was struggling to find a way to feel better about some interactions with her boyfriend. She told me that he had said some hurtful things and that she knew the reason he said those things is because he was losing interest in her.
When I asked her why she thought that, her response was, “Well, if I had said those things, that’s what I would have been feeling. I never would have said what he said if I was still interested in our relationship.”
Did you hear the key words there? Rachel assumed that the way her boyfriend was responding to her was the exact same way she would respond to herself. And that’s just not the case. Everyone is different. We all think and act and respond in different ways, based on our own unique way of perceiving the world. So, you cannot judge someone else’s behavior on your own. And if you do, you are setting yourself up for a lot of struggle.
Instead of assuming that you know what someone is thinking and feeling, ask them. And when they answer, be open to what they say. Listen from a place of love and thoughtfulness, rather than “Oh, I already know what he’s going to say” or “He’s just saying that to appease me” or “That’s not what he really thinks” or “Let me figure out the next thing I’m going to say.”
Know what I mean?
When Rachel and I worked through her assumptions and got to the core belief underlying her perceptions, she was able to experience a whole new level of connection with her boyfriend. He was able to feel heard and she was able to feel secure. A much different situation than they were experiencing before.
So, don’t you think it’s time you let go of your assumptions? Yep. I do, too. Be sure to share your thoughts about this with me in the comments below. And if you’re really struggling with this, shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help.