Welcome to The Dish where Drew DeMaree & guests serve up a healthy dose of reality each week. This blog is about keeping it real ~ real challenges, real distractions, real life getting in the way of, well…virtually everything. How we view our realities depends on individual mindset, and we want to discuss WHY MINDSET MATTERS.
Let’s talk about ASSUMPTIONS
You know the saying “to ASSUME – makes and ass out of you and me”, WELL IT’S THE HONEST TRUTH!
Our brains like patterns, routines and familiar things, so when we have incomplete information about a situation, we fill in the blanks with OUR interpretations based on OUR experiences. We connect dots that simply aren’t there fostering a negative mindset.
To be effective, we must LISTEN, and we must listen with the intent to understand, not with the intent to reply. Usually, this means taking the time to slow down and provide our full attention. When we misinterpret one another or add unintended underlying meaning or subtext, we are jumping down a rabbit hole of distrust and disloyalty. Usually, we are doing it at 90 MPH because we use our past experiences and beliefs to jump to conclusions rather than allowing others the opportunity to fully explain.
There is a difference in responding and reacting. A response is positive and well thought out; it allows for good intention even when there are opposing goals. A reaction, on the other hand, is automatic and negative; it is synonymous with “coming at” someone. When we find ourselves chomping at the bit to make a point, chances are, we have made some assumptions regarding the intentions of the other party. At this point, we have quit listening to what is being said because we are uber focused on what WE plan to say. Therefore, we have not left room for any interpretation other than the one in our minds.
This has been my observation of the recent political climate in our country. Some people lean left, others lean right, and many others are in the middle. In 2020, people quit listening to each other’s opinions about what was positive and what was negative about each candidate and their supporters. Instead, the minute they determined that an individual was supporting a candidate other than their own, they began to spew hate and venom. I don’t know if this is COVID taking its toll or the result of the racial unrest within our country, but something changed. People no longer wanted to listen to those with differing opinions; they made assumptions based solely on political affiliation. It was as if EVERY person who voted for Biden was placed into one box, and EVERYONE who voted for Trump was placed in another; any common ground was annihilated. Yet, if you think rationally about your friends and acquaintances, they are not all alike; they do not all share the same beliefs, and some may have voted differently than you. Does this change your relationship? Does this single action change the person they have proven themselves to be over the years? Does this vote erase everything else you have come to know and love about them? Does it warrant a conversation?
If you really think about those people who matter in your life and separate what you know from what you assume, you understand that knowledge is power. Claudia Gray’s quote, “It’s not the things you don’t know that trip you up. It’s the things you think you know, but you don’t. You fail to ask a certain question because you believe you know the answer. Separating your information from your assumptions can be very tricky business”, makes it clear why the MINDSET around assumptions MATTERS.