Making assumptions about other people makes life harder than it has to be.
I know because I do it all the time.
When you make assumptions about other people, you’re often making things up. For example, have you ever noticed that your girlfriend’s house is remarkably clean and immediately assumed that she never yells at her children, she makes a mean pot roast every Tuesday night, and she feels no pain when she steps on Legos?
If you’re like a growing population of self-doubting moms, upon realizing that her house is clean (and yours looks like wild monkeys had a sleepover last night), you immediately transfer the fact that she does one thing well to the fact that she does everything well.
She’s perfect and you’re pathetic.
Our minds are manipulative like that. They can leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Making assumptions about other people typically either makes you feel yucky about yourself or yucky about other people. Both of which are unnecessary since the yucky feelings are almost always generated by falsehoods.
I recently experienced a double dose of this phenomenon in one day.
Last week I was on a business trip in Los Angeles, and I decided to use the opportunity of being in a different city to see something I hadn’t seen before — the top of a mountain in California. I decided to go for an afternoon hike.
Because I was in the middle of nowhere and I wasn’t being distracted by my phone, my children or my overflowing email inbox, I was able to listen to my thoughts as they came up each and every step of the way.
And what I heard wasn’t always pretty.
When I finally made it to the summit, I was huffing and puffing and dragging my limbs across the final few feet. I was tired, but I was proud. I made it to the top, and I felt good about myself.
Two points for me. Continue Reading