Here’s an article I wrote for “Innerchange Magazine”. The theme for that issue was “Don’t make assumptions.” Funny how easy it is to jump to the wrong conclusions…
By Bryn Blankinship, Certified Master Hypnotherapist
The first thing that comes to mind when someone uses to word “assume” is something my father used to say when I was a child and that was “Don’t ever assume or you make an “ass” of “u” and “me”. He always thought that was a funny play on words and it has stuck with me to this day.
I am a hypnotherapist by trade and I recall a funny story that a well-known hypnotist was telling his students. He was trying to make the point that you never assume why your client is coming to see you, but rather let them tell you why they are there. When he was a fairly new hypnotherapist, he walked a client out after a session one day. Waiting in the lobby was his next client, a robust, full-figured lady, had arrived a few minutes early. Without looking at his calendar to see what kind of session she was there for, he walked over, greeted her. They walked to his office where he began looking over the intake form she had been given. She explained that the form was only partially filled out because there were several things she had come in to him to work on. He took that as his cue and said “Well obviously you are here for weight release and what else was it that you wanted to work on?” The woman was immediately offended by this remark. Although she had just arrived, she picked up her purse and stood up to leave. As she was she said “No, actually I was here to work a fear of thunderstorms that I’ve had since I was a child and the feelings of distress it has caused me. But obviously you’re not the person who can help me with this!” And she stormed out of his office feeling angry and hurt. He lost a client and worse than that, he hurt someone’s feelings terribly. He learned a valuable lesson that day which was “never assume” because often we assume wrongly! Twenty years later he’s still affected by that incident which you can see when he tells the story to help new students avoid this kind of situation.
He could have saved himself from this entire incident had he just asked her “Why are you here today?” I see it all the time in my practice, people are angry at a friend for years, assuming that the other party “knows what they did” only to discover later that they actually don’t know what they had done because the person making the assumptions had jumped to the wrong conclusion and the relationship jumped the tracks causing it to veer off course for years, sometimes forever. We see it happen with the famous too. Remember when Whoopi Goldberg was on the Oprah Show last year talking about how their relationship had been strained for several years and it wasn’t until Whoopi said “What did I ever do to you?” that Oprah said “I was wondering the same thing.” Then when they talked, they realized the time they had wasted being mad at one another when they could have just talked about it and worked it out. Never assume!
That being said, a little forgiveness can go a long way in these kinds of situations. Often I work with people dealing with relationship issues where they have been left with heavy emotions because of an incident and they are unable to talk with the person because they are not in their life anymore, either they’ve moved away or sometimes even passed away. This leaves the one left behind with many unanswered questions and emotional pain. For some reason its human nature to naturally jump to a negative conclusion, filling in the blank for what that person “must have meant” because they are not around to answer those questions.
What you can do to avoid this in your life today is not leave things “unfinished”. Don’t let a good relationship turn bad because of false assumptions. If it does happen—by you or to you, talk it out with that person and avoid losing a good friend.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “assume” as “to take for granted or true”. Assuming someone will attend a function, not only puts them on the spot, but it takes away their right to choose. Or assuming someone “won’t mind” but when you finally get around to actually asking them how they feel, they do mind… very much. Or assuming someone’s actions or expression means something other than what it does can cause problems too. Imagine assuming that someone who missed your party, “obviously doesn’t care enough about me to come” and then finding out that they were in a horrible accident with no way to contact you. Assuming leads to unnecessary drama in relationships and could ultimately be the cause for ending one if it’s a habit on either party’s end. Its sending the message that you don’t really care enough about that person to ask their true feelings and that you know more than they do anyway so why ask.
Or how many times have you heard someone say “they’ll get over it”. Will they? That’s assuming you’re right. What if you’re not?
Assuming is ego…where’s the heart.
Bryn Blankinship, CMHt, CI is a Certified Master Hypnotherapist, International Instructor, and Author. Her courses are certified by the International Association of Counselors & Therapists (IACT). She specializes in past life regression and Life Between Lives Spiritual Regression. Learn more at www.BrynBlankinship.com 910-620-0110