Zoom to Assume

What trouble lurks beneath the quilt of arghhh!ssumptions? Misunderstandings. Feelings that get hurt. Arguments that brew. Actions that are or are not taken.

We live in a fast-paced, sound-bite world, where it's easy to make an assumption or jump to a conclusion. After all, who has the time to clarify?

In our haste to save time, we end up losing more time. Rather than clarifying the message we cut corners by making assumptions about what the other person meant by their words or actions.

We may be afraid to clarify because we remember situations with different people where our attempts at clarification resulted in pain or injury of some sort. The amygdala is responsible for remembering strong emotional events that are pain or fear-filled and is constantly scanning for situations that are "close enough" to the original painful event. When it finds them, it says, "Yep, looks like that other frightening event. Get ready to duke this one out." Or, "Let's get the heck out of here! It's not safe."

The antidote is at heart. By learning to balance the nervous system with heart-activated techniques, the right course of action becomes clear. You may begin to recognize that you are in the habit of making assumptions. Once you know this, you can begin to correct it, choosing to approach each situation with curiosity, rather than pre-conceived notions.

Knowing what to say and how to say it becomes easier without the winter-weight quilt of assumptions. Kick off those covers and take heart!

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