I once assumed that my friend is an anti-social guy. From the way he carries himself, I also assumed that he must be driving a mid segment car. The real fact got revealed on my face lately when he gave me a ride in his sports car. He was updated with the latest trends and is an outgoing guy.
Assuming about someone is less likely to end up the right direction. The result will be like shooting in the dark. We’ll have to throw different kinds of expressions to know the real person.
I’m with you on this one that it’s close to impossible not to assume because our mind is quite good at building up things so fast.
So how do we reduce it? To do that, we need to look into the places where assumptions take place. It usually happens in three stages of a conversation. i.e Before, During and After.
Let’s tackle one by one.
Before the conversation
As we walk towards someone, we begin to assume about them using their facial expression and body language. For e.g: — Seeing a neutral face, one might ask “What happened, buddy? Did someone get thrashed? ”. A better way of asking would be “Are you ok, buddy? Want to share something?”
I agree with you that stopping oneself from framing images about the other person is not easy. Even though we think we’re so sure about those images, there is always that slight uncertainty. This is the root of an assumption and it’s something we need to avoid.
You’d not like if I give you a scribbled paper for you to start drawing. In the same manner, let’s give our friends a new canvas to start their conversation. I’ve failed a lot of times but still try to start with a clean slate. Hope I get better at it.
During the conversation
Imagine ourselves building a sand castle at the beach. As waves hit the shore, it washes off the sand castle and we’ve to build it again. The best part is that we can start fresh and clean.
The same goes with during a conversation too. If you’ve assumed a lot, maybe we can clear our mind and continue listening with a smile. Clearing your mind is quite hard and it works differently for everyone. For me, I drink a glass of water or walk a few steps. You can try your methods or maybe use a totem. 🙂
Issac Asimov once said
“ Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once a while, or the light won’t come in.”
After the conversation
A lot of information from the other person gets stored in our mind after a good talk. This may happen consciously or subconsciously. If it was an intense one, we rethink and often reason with ourselves about it. A bunch of questions can always help us find the right assumptions. This kind is usually less harmful and at times well thought.
To end with, is assumptions all about the mind? If so, maybe meditation can help to control it and be at peace. I haven’t figured out a way to avoid assumptions and would love to hear your thoughts on it. Thank you for reading and have a splendid day.