photo of a man and a woman at a dinner party

Why Bother Dislodging Assumptions?

We all have assumptions about people. But assumptions are assumptions because we have no proof to support our best guesses concerning the person. To theorize, hypothesize, and pre-suppose something about someone else is easy. On the other hand, to prove what we guess to be true, takes courage and effort.

Cutting Lose

Cutting ourselves lose from taking for granted what we think we might know about someone can occur without too much effort. With only a glance in their direction, we can be quick to surmise their story based solely on what we see in the moment. But glances without inquiry, only result in assumptions rather than the honest to goodness truth. 

For instance, there have been times in my marriage when my husband is quieter than usual. In the past, his silence triggered discomfort inside of me. I assumed that something I’d said or done had ticked him off and as a result, he shut me out. 

My assumption seemed logical based on my history. When my mother was miffed at me, her response was to give me the “cold shoulder.” Unfortunately, I too adopted the same method. When annoyed, I displayed my disdain by ignoring the presence of the one who annoyed me. 

Yet, the only way to prove my assumed point concerning my husband was to ask a straightforward question, “Is something wrong?” 

 It seemed simple enough when I thought about it, but following through with that thought took some gumption. What if he really was upset with me? Did I really want to know? But, after a few days of living with his silence, my rumination got the best of me and I finally found the courage to ask.

Sitting beside him on the couch one evening, I braced myself for the worst while at the same time voicing my concern. His answer was a relief. He was in pain. He’d strained a muscle while at work. He explained to me that his physical pain was all consuming. 

My assumption was immediately replaced with empathy. Now I know that when he shuts me out, he is not shutting me out because he is miffed. On the contrary, he is in some kind of physical pain. I now know to ask sooner and so I can apply empathy quicker. 

Why bother dislodging assumptions? It may make us nervous to approach someone for the truth, but in doing so, the truth cuts us lose from believing our assumptions. 


Leave a Comment

New Release

A heart's journey to forgiveness book by Terese Luikens