What do you really know?
I would venture to guess that many people have at one time or another made an assumption and/or presumption about another’s life, thoughts, intentions and/or grievances (potential or otherwise). I can’t say with any certainty in the times I have done this that I 100% know exactly what is going on in the mind or life of another and I don’t think anyone really can. Coming to this awareness and making a commitment to myself as well as others to maintain this awareness when situations arise that trigger this type of speculation is a consideration I give to myself and others.
Communication is one of my favorite experiences to participate in for a few reasons:
- It cultivates and creates new connections
- it strengthens and enhances my existing relationships
- it inspires my thoughts and perspectives in new directions
- It expands and nourishes the world in which I live
The more we learn about each other the deeper we can connect our souls, this is just my thought but I feel many of us are out there starving for this kind of nourishment. It seems to be showing up everywhere and spiraling through signs of distress, dissatisfaction, dissidence, disrespect and total disconnection from the emotional feelings that are meant to connect us. As much as the world has achieved such fantastic technological advances that has given us all further reach in connecting with all walks of life from all over the world, it seems these advances have also disconnected us from real and authentic conversation and connection to each other.
Assume – suppose to be the case, without proof
I believe this is more common than realized and the best way to take this out of the equation in any relationship is to be clear and direct. I have learned to use a feedback process so if I’m not sure I understand something and I feel within that there is potential for me to assume I repeat back what I’ve heard and ask for clarification. It gives me and the person I am in communication with the opportunity to clear that line so there is no room for misinterpretation. Sometimes the one you are communicating with didn’t really hear how what they were saying was actually coming across because it sounded different to them or their intention was not how it was expressed and they would like to re-word. I work hard to continually utilize this process because I’ve learned from my own experiences that EVERY time I’ve ever assumed I’ve been wrong.
Of course my feedback process hasn’t worked every time, there are times when a communication goes south and there’s nothing you can do about it except postpone it to another time. Everyone is different, everyone’s circumstances are different and sometimes things need to be addressed at a later date. During difficulty not everyone is in an open and generous state of mind, conversations under that kind of influence may become strained and tense.
Presume – suppose that something is the case on the basis of probability
Again, probably more common than realized and in my experience presumption has occurred because of me, my lack of faith and fear of what I do not have clarity on.
Assume or presume, either is risky and can put you on the hamster wheel cycling and escalating a misunderstood and unclarified communication into parts unknown. Potentially causing you to imagine the worst, creating and/or elevating it in your mind, only to find out later that you never had it right. Of course it is possible you may be right but how much satisfaction do you really get out of that? I would say your soul gets no satisfaction but your ego is probably loving it. How much is it really worth though? Putting yourself through unnecessary stress and aggravation. I don’t know about you but that does not appeal to me at all.
I feel the best resolution to clearing both of these usually disastrous tendencies is to increase your practice in generosity. Consideration and/or empathy towards what another is experiencing or feeling is a necessary component on the path to understanding. There is that phrase “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” which is essentially the platform in which this kind of understanding begins on.
- How would you feel if you were in their situation whatever that may be which of course you don’t always know?
- How would you be responding if what they are experiencing was going on in your life?
I realize that in certain situations having generosity towards another can be a big request and while it may seem like it is for the benefit of just the other person it really is more of a benefit for you. To keep you on track with your soul and off that hamster wheel so you aren’t escalating an experience that may have left you feeling emotionally insignificant and/or invalidated.
It does absolutely no good for anyone to try to understand, comprehend or possibly imagine what another person thinks or believes about you to be true. The main point about this is that it does not define who you actually are so why even entertain the thought? What someone else perceives about you does not mean that their perception is right, does it?
Speculating through your own fears without knowing the truth of a situation can be a dangerous thought process with the biggest threat being your own personal health and well-being.
False Expectations Appearing Real
When you create a false expectation (theory) of what appears real through the eyes of another assuming/presuming you know what they think, feel or believe you injure yourself the most.
How often have you misdirected your own fears into a reality that would never have manifested in the way you’ve imagined? How far have you taken those misguided thoughts? Has it benefited you in any way?
I’ve had communications that have gone to both sides of the spectrum so my wish is to introduce caution, consideration and compassion when communicating whether difficult or not.
- Caution against saying something you may not be able to take back. There are so many words to use and some can cause more damage than others.
- Consider the words you choose and ask yourself first how you would feel if they were spoken to you.
- Compassion in its purest form is a gift you give to another and a blessing you give to yourself.
It takes more of your energy to be resistant than it does to be generous but it takes more courage to be generous than it does to be resistant. Resistance lowers your levels of personal empowerment and generosity elevates it. Awareness is power!
Be generous with yourself and notice how that changes your energy, imagine the impact when you embrace and carry that same energy into all your communications. What a different world you can create around you.
There is such beautiful opportunity to develop deep and profound connections through conversation. I’ve found my strongest connections with others have been formed through communication simply because it has allowed me to see their heart, their vulnerability and their soul. There is no way to quantify this except to say it’s priceless!