I’m convinced that I’ve discovered the key to instant insanity. Yes, it’s upsetting that I didn’t come across hidden gold instead, but information is useful, so I’ll take it.
If you’ve had too much peace lately and want some crazy in your life, the fastest way to get yourself there is…you ready for this?
The key to instant insanity is to make assumptions, make several in a row and you’re sure to find yourself in such a mess that you’ll start to miss that left behind zen of yours.
You know that saying: when you assume you end up making an ass out of you and me? Well, yes, that’s true, but I think it’s deeper than that, deeper in that assumptions carry an essence of self-sabotage and when we aren’t vigilant of our assumptions, we should be prepared for the consequences and misunderstandings that they bring.
We make assumptions when uncertainty surrounds us. It’s difficult to sit still with uncertainty, so challenging that we throw around stories in our head until we land on the one that seems to make the most sense at that moment. And, even though this thought is completely created out of thin air, we choose to accept it as truth. Why? Because when we are in the center of uncertainty, of not knowing, believing something (even if it is completely erroneous) offers relief from the exhaustion that being left in the dark brings.
We jump on an assumption and hang on for dear life, because it allows us to escape the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing. We trade the anxiety and fear that not knowing brings for the closure that assumptions appear to provide.
The problem is that when we are in a place where we feel the need to make an assumption to rid ourselves of anxiety, we are already not in the most healthy state of mind. When we are highly emotional we are prone to make an assumption that is based out of those sensitivities rather than the actual circumstance.
We push ourselves to react and behave based off of the assumptions that we make, creating a higher barrier between us and clear, direct communication.
When an assumption is made, a story accompanies it, a story that quickly unravels and plays out in the confinement of our mind. We do such a good job at filling in the details of this story that soon our assumptions take on a color that is impossible to ignore.
And, when we are the ones making the assumptions, it is difficult to even consider an alternative truth behind the one we latch on to when we lack the information that we are seeking.
I received a text message a couple of weeks ago from a friend. He was in a state that required him to wait and the waiting was prompting him to make assumptions. To me, someone outside of the situation and the feelings around it, I could perceive a multitude of explanations and outcomes, but he could only see two and was struggling with the desire of wanting to commit to one.
He wanted to commit to one in order to move past the uncertainty. He didn’t want to wait; he wanted the uncomfortableness to evaporate.
From the outside, it is easy to see the bigger picture and how twisted assumptions can become, but it’s a completely different story when we are in the situation ourselves.
A week later, I found myself in a situation where I didn’t know what was going on and instead of communicating my uncertainty, I found myself making assumptions, filling that knowledge gap with my stories.
How quickly I had gone from pointing out to my friend that he was assuming instead of communicating to doing the exact same thing!
It has been my experience that the majority of assumptions that I make end up being completely off base. This isn’t because my intuition sucks, but rather because when I turn to assumptions it is out of fear and panic; I’m not thinking clearly.
Sometimes we make assumptions because we are afraid to be confronted with a truth that we don’t want to accept, but other times we assume because we shy away from honest, vulnerable communication.
I hate to break it to you folks (not really), but direct communication is the surest way to avoid insanity during these uncertainties.
Can it be difficult to post questions that you are afraid to hear the answer to? Absolutely.
Does being vulnerable require a terrifying amount of guts? You bet.
Is communicating in an honest and vulnerable manner going to save you from the unnecessary madness, pain, and embarrassment that assumptions can bring and therefore worthy of your courage? Yes, Yes, and Yes!
It’s a work in progress, but when I find myself making assumptions these days, I remind myself that they are simply that, assumptions. Then, instead of driving myself crazy, I put on my big girl pants and ready myself for honest and vulnerable conversations that need to happen.
Have you ever made an assumption that caused you an unnecessary difficult time? How do you handle it when others make assumptions about your actions? Let me know!