S2Episode 24 Making Assumptions + Jumping To Conclusions

February 23, 2024

Good morning from Milano. What’s on my mind this morning is making assumptions and jumping to conclusions, and here’s why. I’ve talked to at least four or five different people over the past 10 days who have shared stories of various nature. They all come down to some form of frustration, hurt feelings, irritation over someone speaking too much or not saying enough.

There were a couple of through lines to the stories that caught my attention. One is that all of them were stories about family members. Not friends but family members. Spouses, siblings, nieces and nephews, in laws. The other piece is that all of these stories, when they came full circle, boiled down to the same thing: the person who had shared the story with me had made assumptions and jumped to conclusions. While making assumptions and jumping to conclusions of course happens to all of us, in all areas of our life, this caught my attention.

Interestingly, the people with whom we are closest and most connected whether we like it or not – our family – seem to be the ones that trigger us the most. I guess what struck me is that when something goes wrong in a family – when there is an illness or an accident or something bad happens- we have seemingly endless reserves of time, generosity, and love. Yet with these very same people, on a day-to-day basis our emotional strings are very tightly strung. We get frustrated. Our feelings get hurt. There’s tension and misunderstandings.

I guess one thought led to the other and I was thinking to myself wow, with children, people have endless reserves of patience and tolerance and tenderness. And in fact, when things go sideways with our children, our first thought is hmm, I wonder what’s going on. Yet when it comes to our immediate family members, including our parents, we tend to make assumptions and jump to conclusions. When things come full circle and calm down, I can see that had the person brought that same patience or curiosity to the situation – that hmm. I wonder what’s going on there- they might just have saved themselves unnecessary frustration and hurt feelings.

Trust me, I do know that’s easy to say when you’re on the outside looking in. I’m only offering this up because I’ve seen it happening around me over and over again of recent. With our friends and our colleagues, we tend to be less tightly strung, and the cadence and the ebb and flow of communication is different. But we tend to be on high alert with our family members and it’s helpful when we can catch ourselves making assumptions and jumping to conclusions. That’s all.

I’ll leave you with that thought for today. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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