You know the phrase “Don’t assume something because it makes an ass out of you and me”? I didn’t understand it until I got older but it’s true.
I hate assumptions, for a lot of what that phrase above implies. When someone assumes something it could potentially lead to damaging effects, miscommunication and more.
Assumptions make an ass out of you and me. And I hate that. Not so much the looking like a fool, but more about not knowing what’s going on.
I’m guilty of placing assumptions. I’m not perfect. However, my detail oriented brain will usually follow up with the details once I know, therefore negating the assumptions. However…
People in the church assume a lot sometimes. They assume this is done or that is done. They ask me about it on Sunday morning, which is the worst time to confront me. I usually direct them to wait until Tuesday when I get back into the office and can take a further look. Or I tell them I wish I had known sooner because I can’t assume anything. I can’t assume so-and-so is in the hospital if I’m not told. I don’t have telepathy or ESP. I’m not Professor X here people. (The result is usually with folks upset but I can’t and won’t assume something. At most I’ll try to fix it later.)
I can shrug whatever happened, go to my happy place of a beer and scrapbooking and forget about it. Or I can complain to friends and colleagues. And that’s only work…
Family assumptions are different.
I can’t tell you how many times my family has assumed something on me. I’ve made assumptions on them as well, though I’m usually on the other end of the assumptions. Plans are made and I’m the last one to find out. When I tell them I have to work or have other plans, the look is full of befuddlement: “Why? You’re single and without children. It’s all planned. Don’t you want to spend time with the family.” I love my family dearly but this drives me crazy.
I get upset over the assumptions and feeling left out. I get upset that no one bothers to ask me or include me in whatever it is. I get upset because I want to be at said dinner or the zoo or whatever. I want to spend time with my family. But when plans move at warp speed and I can’t be there because I wasn’t brought in to the initial conversation, I’m left upset and angry and alone.
What upsets me the most is that some in the family have the mindset that since I’m single, it’s easier for me to rearrange my schedule. Ok, maybe it is. Though, why should I be the one to rearrange things? Why should I be the one every one assumes will be around and then sometimes, not often because I’ve usually gone to hell and back to move something, the family gets upset that I can’t do something? Ugh…
Oh! I also love the one where information is sent down through someone, say my Mom, from my siblings. But Mom isn’t even sure of the plans. Love it. Or the “I thinks”: I think we’re doing this or I think the plan is to do this. What kind of forked up response is that? Then it’s your responsibility to send me an email, text, carrier pigeon or whatever when the “I think” goes away and the details are finished. I’m not going to assume that your “I think” statement that comes from you or from Mom is the final answer or plan. I do it for you. I send the details and stuff when I know officially what’s going on. The least you can do is the same for me. That’s all I’m asking. It’s called respect folks.
And the family wonders why I get upset. (Granted, I need to learn how to better respond. But still…)
I’ve confronted my parents about this and thankfully it’s gotten better with them. For the most part. There have still been moments.
I don’t mean to sound harsh. I’m annoyed because assumptions are all around evil in my opinion, which is based on how many times I’ve been on the receiving end of them. Why is it so difficult to confirm plans or include someone in the plan making?
My point: Don’t assume that I know things. Don’t assume that because I’m single that I will drop my original plans to be there. Don’t assume that it’s alright for me to find out details last. Don’t assume that I will take vacation from my job to be at a family dinner. (I actually had a family member say that to me…I almost lost it.)
Bottom line: Don’t assume. Period. Assuming things leads to all kinds of trouble.