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Do you know the one thing that gets you in to the most trouble?

It can cause us to go to war with our spouses or significant others and not even know why. It causes hurt, confusion, anger, and even the silent treatment.  That one thing is Assume.

We all do it. We look at things from our own point of view and our own life experiences. We believe that when someone we love is telling us something that concerns them or upsets them, that we need to “fix it” or “find a solution.” For me, that is in my nature and I automatically go into assessing the problem or issue and finding a solution.  It works great for my clients, but not so great for my loved ones as they just wanted to vent.  Of course, had they told me that they just wanted to vent, then I would be more than happy to listen and empathize with them.  But that is a whole other conversation about communicating for understanding.

Assume makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”  Why?  Because we really don’t know what is going on in another person’s mind.  We know what is going on in our mind, accessing our memories of our version of a similar situation.  Guess what?  The situations may very well be similar but they are not the same. People are different, parameters are different, circumstances are different, and consequences may be different. We just don’t know.

To those that have felt bulldozed by us, most of us are really sorry and we did not mean to make you feel as though you could not handle your own issues, usurp your authority or your own decision making rights.  We really do know that you can make your own choices and handle your own issues.

Sometimes, people just need to vent, rant and rave, to get it all out. Please don’t automatically assume they want you to problem solve for them.  This is what I am trying to always remember to do myself…I will listen, try my best to understand and before I offer any advice or recommendations, ask if they would like some help.  I am a work in progress and it is okay that you are a work in progress too.  At least you do care.

Have a great day.

Pat