Life is complex with potential danger at every turn. As such, it’s wise to think ahead and prepare ourselves as best as we can. But we risk merely spinning our wheels or even sparking unnecessary conflict when we get too far ahead and the story we tell is based on faulty assumptions.
Of course, no one likes being caught off guard. And it’s only natural to look ahead and protect ourselves from potential danger.
For instance, we might attempt to mind read and anticipate what our wife, friend, or boss is thinking or how they might act in a certain situation. This allows us to prepare our response and minimize any potential negative impacts. And this is good in moderation as it can help us from being merely reactive – blowing up, caving in, or running away when faced with the unexpected.
But we’re prone to start making faulty assumptions when our imaginations mixed with fear get the best of us. And this can lead to anger and resentment even before we know where the other person stands on the issue.
Our assumptions become faulty when they’re based solely on our own private narratives and not tested with the reality of others. In short, we’re trying to fill in the gaps of our understanding with our own blind spots, which simply invites many misunderstandings and unnecessary discord.
The wise approach is remembering we don’t have the full story and to hold our initial assumptions loosely. This allows us to be prepared to handle the situation if it’s true, while also giving us the freedom to adjust our perspectives as we get new information. Holding to our false assumptions eventually erodes trust and puts a strain on the relationship.
In the end, continue to think ahead and prepare as you navigate all the potential conflicts of life and relationships. And don’t get ahead of yourself with faulty assumptions. Keep your interpretations grounded with the facts on the ground.