Friday, January 05, 2007

Assume nothing

It's nearly a week into 2007 and already my journey toward the Evolving Emancipation of Michelle is showing the tangled roots of enquiry along this goat-track of introspection!

Lately, I've been admonished for an over abundance of Assumption in my conversations with my nearest and dearest.

It almost got to a point where I felt like I couldn't say anything at all at the risk of being told off for inherent assumptions I hadn't realised were there in the first place!

But I digress....

This is not a whinge entitled "No one will listen to me!" :) This is a study for myself mostly, on the nature of assumptions.

To Assume is to take something a certain way as a matter of course.

An Assumption is to take that something without direct pre-established proof leading to its verification either way.

Assumptions are really beliefs. We all have them.

And there you have it!

A classic Assumption right there! :) "We all have them."

Do we? Do I really know that for certain?

Of course not! I do not know that all people everywhere have "Beliefs"! But, in the interests of proving my skill as a writer of this blog, I assumed that statement because it verifies my argument that Assumptions are basically Beliefs! Nor can I actually prove that statement so my underlying arrogance in assuming such a thing is clearly evident!

Do you see my point here?

The way that we say things to people can sometimes be filled with all manner of underlying beliefs and assumptions that we cannot and more importantly DO NOT prove the validity of before we open our mouths. It is a form of arrogance really.

When I am in a deep and intimate conversation with my loved one, I can take on the underlying belief that I know them well enough as to be able to assert certain behaviours, ideologies, impressions and beliefs about them that I can in no way truly validate by myself.

Thing is, now that I've been carefully listening to the conversations that go on around me, I've noticed that this tendency to Assume in conversation is strong in both the genders and age groups I've listened to.

The other thing I've noticed is that that Assumption thing apparently seems sometimes necessary to creating good dialogue between people. It seems that we can let most assumptions ride because when the conversationalists know each other very well, many of those assumptions can indeed be correct and validated. What does become a sticking point is when the un-validated assumption is made to be an Absolute by the assuming party. This is basically a form of labelling people and I don't think that is a really very pleasant thing myself.

It seems that I, in particular, need to learn how to add the wonderful maxim "I don't know" to the things I say in my conversations more often. Especially with the ones I love.

When I add qualifiers such as "I don't know" or "Perhaps" to my assumptions, it frees the other person from feeling labelled and taken for granted and creates a better foundation for harmonious conversation.

I don't know! :)

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