How Our Assumptions Kill Communication


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When we apply assumptions to our communication with others we set ourselves up for failure. You will not accomplish your goals assuming everyone knows what you are looking for.

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How Our Assumptions Kill Communication

  1. 1. June 12, 2013How Our Assumptions Kill CommunicationDo you have the ability to read people’sminds?I know I don’t and yet it seems each day someone inour lives think we can. They become disappointedthat we didn’t do what they thought we should do orhad hoped we would do when we never even knewwhat that was.Well, not all the time. In my case I know I shouldn’thang my jacket on the chair and should cover the BBQ but for the most part itcomes down to assuming I know. We are all guilty of assuming others shouldknow what we need and guilty of not following through on what we do knowthey need.In our everyday life we walk around expecting people to do exactly what wethink they should be doing and giving us exactly what we need them to give us.Most of the time with dismal results.How can they know without you communicating with them what you need?Don’t drop hints or think just because they know you that they know what youare thinking.Go Get What You WantI always tell my kids to go out and get what they want in life. They probablyhate it when I say “If you want it you have to be the one to ask for it” wheneverthey want me to order their food for them or ask someone for something theywant.Not just my oldest kid but right down to my 4 year old. They know if they wantto know how much something costs, need help or for someone to stopbothering them they need to say it. They know they need to ask for it or thereis zero chance of it happening. I also explained just because you ask doesn’tmean you will always get what it is you are asking for but you have a lot betterchance than never asking at all.Don’t Expect Results Unless You Ask For ThemDon’t expect people to know. I don’t care if you have been together for 50years. Tell them what you want. Do not assume. As the saying goes you makean ass out of you and me.
  2. 2. Actually you just make an ass out of yourself because you are mad atsomeone for something only you knew.Communication gets destroyed when one person spends time being angry thatsomeone doesn’t know what they need from them I may make you a bituncomfortable but let’s talk about how assumptions kill communication in thebedroom.If you are not having fantastic sex every time you hop into bed together thenyou are not communicating what your needs are. Tension around assumptionsas to what should happen once the lights go out can destroy a relationshipfast. Be open about what you need before, during and after on both sides.Recognize where you are being unreasonable and where you are holding back.If you “feel” you have said what you need a 1000 times before try one moretime in a different way. A lot of the time we are not communicating in a way ourpartner understands. This applies to our boss, our friend and anyone wecommunicate with in our lives.I Just Need A HugIf you want a hug then ask for a hug. That is one thing we worked on with oneof our kids.They would just come up and poke at you, or bump into you the whole timewanting you to physical acknowledge them with a hug. They assumed wewould get the hint but sometimes as you may know when you are busy doingstuff it just comes across as annoying.We are so self-absorbed that we don’t recognize it as a hint they want a hug.That they need a hug!Instead you ask them to stop and unknowingly cause them to feel emotionallyrejected which is a crappy feeling but one you are not responsible for creating.That’s right, you are not responsible for them feeling bad by not asking you forwhat they need.They need to ask for what they want. That is how life works and they will thankyou for teaching them that later in life. Even when parents or spouses are superbusy I hardly think any of them would say no to a direct request ofgiving someone a hug. Right?As parents and spouses we have the responsibility to explain to our kids andloved one’s what we need. If we don’t get the results we want the first time tryasking in a different way.If it still isn’t working for you ask the other person if they understand what you
  3. 3. need. If they do and are not delivering on it, ask them why. Maybe they needsomething from you that you aren’t giving them. That doesn’t make it right butit clears the air.Communication is difficult enough as it is without adding a bunch ofassumptions to the mix also. The amount of grudges that start to form wheneveryone assumes is crippling to relationships.Take Action Request:Sit down and ask yourself ‘What have I been assuming people should know Ineed that I have never communicated clearly with them?” Try not to go to aplace of thinking they should know because they are your spouse, sibling,parent or friend and be open about what you need. Do this exercise with atleast two people this week you know that you are using assumptions with.Your Life Your Choice Your DesignDarrin WigginsP.S. The absolute best book I have found so far on communication is CrucialConversations and The 5 Love Languages. These books contain a lot of greatinformation and exercises to improve your communication.“Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions andto express what you really want. Communicate with others asclearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness anddrama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transformyour life.” – Miguel Angel Ruiz