We all know how it feels to have assumptions made about us, but what about the assumptions we make about others?
Assumptions are a dangerous thing. When we presume to know what motivates another person or what is causing certain behaviors or situations, we’re presuming that another person is incapable of making their own decisions or incapable of handling their own lives. Many children have been unjustly removed from homes by state agencies, people have been unjustly fired from jobs, marriages and other relationships have been lost because of assumptions made by others.
When assumptions are made, lines of communication are shut down by those who the assumptions are being made about. Many people get to the point of feeling as though they have no reason to explain justify, based on someone else’s attitude or what the other person has assumed about them. And it’s true, it’s extremely difficult to change someone’s mind about someone or something when they’ve already made assumptions and made up their mind about a person, situation or anything else that involves another person.
The fact of matter is, you can’t truly know what motivates another person or what is behind another person’s situation unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes and been faced with the same choices or decisions that they have. And even then, we should all take into consideration the differences in basic personalities between humans and the emotions behind any decisions made in someone’s life. A teen mom is going to make different decisions for her children than a mother who is older. A child who was raised in a household with substance abuse will make different choices and have different motivations than one who is raised in a household without any form of addiction.
Before you make assumptions about someone or their situation, ask yourself if you’d like the assumptions to be made about yourself or your life. It’s always a good idea to ask ourselves whether we’re being “judgemental” or not and if we’d like the same assumptions or perspectives to be cast upon ourselves and our own lives. Never believe you fully understand anything about another person’s life or believe that you understand their motivation for their choices or actions. Human nature is complex, each individual unique, with different motivations and factors in life. Remembering this can help save all of us a lot of heartache and trouble.