Have you heard of that ‘one’ saying? “What does assuming do?” It makes an “ass” out of “me” and “you.”
Ever get stuck in making assumptions? Maybe about people, about yourself, about the world, about the future, the past, or even about religion, God, church, work, school, etc.?Assuming can become a habitual process in which one does not any longer find the need to question or figure out concrete facts and evidence for such things to support or reject claims in regards to a certain topic, rather they make their own judgments and assume to know the ins and outs of every little thing. Knowing everything? No one knows everything about anything. Just God. So why do we even try to know everything?
Let me start off my defining assumption. According to Webster’s dictionary, assumption is a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. So assuming is the act thereof, assumption. Sounds familiar!
Why is assuming so dangerous? Although it might not be physically dangerous (I guess it could if it caused physical altercation or something of the sort), but it definitely is mentally and emotionally dangerous. It can be racially dangerous. Politically dangerous. Dangerous of all sorts. So why do people stick to assumption when coming to a conclusion? Think about it for a moment.
Assuming can lead down a really destructive path. Maybe we see someone that is dressed “weird” appearing as a female but having male features. Maybe we see someone of color or of a different race and instantly start making racial assumptions about their ethnicity, socioeconomic status, career path, hometown, what their husband/wife looks like, etc. Or maybe we see a Hispanic woman carrying a Michael Kors’ purse, wearing Guess shoes, dressed up like she is ready to go to prom, walking out of Mastro’s Steakhouse but she walks up to her car and see her driving a ‘beat up’ 1987 Toyota Camry. I imagine, I am guilty of this too, that all your assumptions would be proven false, right then and there. She appears “wealthy” so I instantly would think “wow she is rich, maybe stuck up because she is walking a certain way. She must be a doctor or a lawyer. She must be a ‘darker Middle Eastern woman’.”
Wow! Did you see what I just did right there?! Guilty!!! Shame on me!!! I just assumed that you would have been judgmental and assumed those things. But, maybe you didn’t, however, I am willing to bet many of us would! However, in society today, this is such an instant, ‘normal’ thought process that we don’t even second guess it. Think about it, maybe walking away after seeing this woman get into an old car, we instantly then think, “Oh, all her name brand stuff must be fake.” Because some of us are black and white thinkers in which we think in extremes. I know with my anxiety, especially when I am anxious or fighting a panic attack, I instantly assume the easiest reason and explanation that sounds plausible to me. But, what if we just stopped for a moment and thought, “Maybe she is an average, middle class school teacher, that was wearing one of her most expensive, elegant pieces of her wardrobe because she was on a first date and she actually purchased the name brand clothes from TJ Maxx, a discount store.
But why might someone outwardly make a comment or an assumption like this filled with hatred and negativity? There are several reasons. Our brain, specifically our frontal lobe, which is in charge of our ‘reasoning’ and ‘judgment’ is a part of the brain that flourishes on concrete facts. Therefore, we take what we perceive and process it into what we think are facts and then come to a conclusion, which is usually pretty far from the facts. Sometimes we might be thinking in the right direction, but our overall assumption is wrong and usually stereotypical in nature. And why do we do this? Usually because assuming things gives us the power over the situation and gives authority to the thoughts. Because if we think it, it must be true, right? Wrong! Rather than making a sound judgment of the situation, we neglect the power of the person of their own representation and authority to dress, act and whatever else in their own way, but then we feel in control and validate our thoughts to form judgments. Retraining thoughts leads to a change in emotions and behavior.
How though? Our brains and therefore our thoughts are very pliable. They can be rehearsed, re-train and really changed and reformed over time. This doesn’t happen over night but it surely does happen and will happen with sincere efforts. Now this isn’t to say that you are never going to make an assumption in life or be judgmental because we are all sinners and we think things that sometimes are just automatic thoughts especially if this comes rather quickly. But anything is possible, so please, don’t limit yourselves! It is actually very, very freeing to rid of these thoughts and be free from judgments. We will perceive and receive the world in a very different way and when we start to make assumptions we will catch them. Notice them. Catch them non-judgmentally. You aren’t a criminal for thinking this way, we are human in sinful flesh. But, we can malleable and can be changed with motivation. So what better time is than now?! I definitely want to hop on this!
I say all this to say that we don’t have to be a slave to our thoughts! Our thoughts can be destructive and the thought process of assumption can lead to a very dangerous trail of actions! I challenge you to think of assumptions you make daily or often. Maybe your significant other seemingly hides his/her phone when texting and so your instant assumption is that he/she is cheating when in reality he is having a conversation with your best friend on how to propose to you. Hurtful if you tell the person that right? Maybe you assume that your best friend isn’t being a loyal friend because she has been distant but really she is suffering with depression and battling suicidal thoughts that no one knows about. Maybe your boss calls you into the office and you assume you’re getting fired but really you are not only getting a raise but a promotion. Granted this might not always be the case, but we are much more at peace when we don’t assume what is going on before communicating our concerns to another person. When we give power to these thoughts, we become slave to fear as well as the negativity, the emotions, and the following actions. Don’t be a slave to these thoughts any longer! Encourage yourself to want to change those thoughts and become free….below is a helpful song that I listen to to remind myself that I am no longer a slave to fear that my assumptions and thoughts bring on! Thanks for reading ❤