Don't Assume... ASK!
Our childhood adage that “assume makes an ass of (yo)u and me” is only partly accurate. The truth is it makes an ass of us only and says nothing about the other person.
Often when another person says or does something that gives us pause, we personalize their behavior and jump to conclusions based on little, if any, evidence.
Our insecurities get the best of us:
You see your very ambitious colleague walking out of your boss’ office and you get angry because you’re sure she is taking all the credit for your joint project. (She was in there asking for time off to care for her sick parent.)
Your long-time colleague barely mutters hello to you and you immediately wonder why she’s mad at you. (She’s barely holding it together because her partner ended their relationship and moved out a few days earlier.)
You see two close friends having lunch out together and you feel hurt you weren’t included. (They bumped into each other and decided to grab lunch together.)
It takes only a split second for our minds to go down the proverbial dark rabbit hole where we end up miserable, angry or hurt.
What to do?
First, catch yourself slip sliding away and press the pause button.
Second, take a deep breath and then another one.
Third, ask yourself what evidence you have for your conclusion. Hunches don’t count.
If you really, really want to know what’s going on, then ask for more information in a respectful, calm manner.
Stay open and be prepared for any answer. The truth may make you smile, cringe or get angry.
But at least you’ll know.
That’s way better than being an ass.
Let me know how I can help.