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Dropping the Assumption – Limiting Damage to Relationships

Mid-speech we find ourselves acting on barely a thought and suddenly we’ve pushed out of safe harbour into the most violent storm. One comment has generated significant dissent.

Something fearful, deep underneath our conscious mask, has prompted this enquiry of imaginative proportions – we’ve done what everyone does; we’ve made an assumption, and one poised in the depths of our fear, not grounded in reality.

Assumption-making, as well as gossip, is generated often by an unacknowledged lack deep within us. How could we acknowledge something that’s burrowed itself deep below our consciousness? The presence of assumptions simply reveals areas of lack within that we should know about. If we’re interested enough to learn, our relationships will profit and we, ourselves, will be better persons.


On the receiving end of the assumption is a vastly different story. ‘How could they possibly come up with that?’ is our incredulous response. How different others see us and our world!

We might feel judged; condemned; at a loss for a response.

Assumption-making, whilst common, is dastardly and destructive. As reflection takes us on a recent recrimination, we agree, we must drop this practice. We must not assume. We must have the courage to confirm our imaginative hypotheses.


If there’s one thing on which we can always rely, one issue we can always trust, it’s the readily observable truth. In the realm of relationships, a safely deployed truth does not disappoint. Truth is information that’s accepted commonly – upon which there’s no dispute.

She is a safe place, is truth; especially as it pertains to relationships.

The opportunity to reduce our assumption-making stands not in avoiding it, but in filling our minds, within the relational space, with fact. This way we relate in fairness and respect and it’s bound to eventually return to us, trust.

When we find ourselves acting on unverified information a good discipline is both awareness and apology. When we have the humility to be both held accountable to the truth and to own up in the presence of someone else, we and our relationship and the other person all profit.


Imaginings that start in the head,

Bring the opportunity to recognise instead,

A fact we know everyone can learn,

With assumptions it’s best to always confirm.

Assumptions cast relationships into a land of unfairness, judgment, even condemnation, yet they’re so common. Adjusting our thinking to account to the truth, to check our information, issues respect and gathers trust. Everyone wins.


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