Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Assumptions and Conclusions

Every time I talk to one friend that he says that I go from one extreme to the other by either jumping to a conclusion or making an assumption. So I thought that I would explore this a little more and see if I can actually figure out what he is talking about. I will admit that I go from one extreme to another on an emotional level, I am truly bipolar. But I don't honestly think that I make assumptions. See I know the definition of assumption it is "a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof." So if I state a fact or tell you something that I think is true, that doesn't mean it was an assumption. See, I have been trying to live my life as honestly as I can since I found out that I am terminal. An assumption would be a statement that I thought to be true about the other person. But what is actually happening is everything is colored by my past experiences.

One thing that my friend doesn't understand, I filter everything I say and do by my past experience and relationships. It doesn't have to be a sexual thing either. See in my family birthdays are very important and we have all out celebrations for them each year. So when my friend told me that his birthday was coming up on the 19th of Feb and he wanted me to come and visit him around tha time so that we could spend sometime together and see how things went. While I was talking about his birthday, I told him that I would like to be around him for his birthday, but I didn't want to be in the way. He told me that he was black and that they didn't celebrate getting older.  Can you see how I based my response on the fact that my family did celebrate  birthday. it was a grand thing in my home, so I assumed it would be in his home and family as well.  I had no idea that he didn't celebrate getting one year older.  In this case I was trying not to get in the way of anything his family may have planned for him, I stated that I didn't want to be underfoot.  Maybe it was wrong for me to assume that his family was just like my disfunctional family.

Assumptions are bad and can hurt a relationship badly if you don't take the time to communicate openly and honestly.  An assumption means that you have accepted something about the other person without any proof.  Now, if you remember what they used to stay in school that making an assumption makes and ass out of you and me.  Keep that in mind the next time you want to make an assumption about another person.

If you know what the definition of a conclusion is a judgement or decision that is made through reasoning. I know that I am a culprit of jumping to conclusions.  I rationalize everything and like I told you above that I filter everything that I go through by my past experiences.  I think this is a common error that we all make. See it is our past experiences that have shaped us and molded us into the person we are today.  But the problem with using those same filters is that we tend to conclude that every situation can be measured by those same filters.  The truth of the matter is not all situations fit into the mold that our past experiences have prepared ourselves for.  So what do you do when a new situation arises and you have no experience in dealing with it.  Your past hasn't prepared you to adequately handle the situation.

It is easy for us to draw conclusions when we over analyze every situation.  Many of us nitpick and pull apart the motives of others, we try to figure out their intentions and agendas are.  But, when you draw a conclusion based on just the facts that you know, the issue becomes you may not know everything about the situation so your conclusion will be faulty and misguided.  Remember that every relationship is as different as the person involved in the relationship.  So, even in new situations our past information is not always enough for us to draw the appropriate conclusions.  So you run the risk of hurting someone without hearing all the facts and drawing a false conclusion.

So, if you are like me try to keep the assumptions and conclusion jumping to the absolute minimum.  Go out and research the facts of every situation and confront the people involved directly so that you get all the facts.  Remember it pays off to get the information straight from the horses mouth so to speak.  It is also helps if you are honest in your communication with each other so that all the facts come to light and no one has to draw a conclusion or make and assumption.  Because you will have all the information.  Remember being for warned is for armed.  Which means if you have all the information at your disposal you can make an educated decision based only on the facts.

It is my recommendation to be absolutely honest with yourself and others.  That way everything you speak and tell can be counted on as fact.  Plus, I have found that if you start lying to yourself it is very hard for you to stop.  It becomes so easy to rationalize our actions and make stupid assumptions as well as jumping to an easy conclusion.

So take my advice.  Talk everything out, be honest, let your feelings out and look at the facts with a rational mind.  This way you can make an educated decision with all the facts at your disposal.  Remember that assumptions and conclusions can only hurt a relationship, or make a situation that much harder to resolve.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B