There are a few things that annoy me, okay maybe a lot of things annoy me. It can be little things such as people who smack their lips when they eat or big things like lack of basic human kindness from a complete stranger. However, one of the biggest things on my list of annoyances are assumptions - a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. I know we are all guilty in one way or another, like my assumption that hundreds of people will read this blog. But, more specifically, when it comes to people, I can honestly say that I strive not to first assume the worst in them.
I'll wait a bit.
Having said that, I will not first assume that the bitchy guy who took my coffee order hates my mere presence, but is probably is having a bad day and unable to control his emotions. I will not first assume that the obnoxious teenagers hovering around the electronic section at Target weren’t taught any manners by their momma, but in teenage fashion have no presence of mind to realize how their behavior affects others. To put it plainly, I will not first assume that I know what someone is thinking or their motives without further inquiry. I mention this because time and time again, people assume to know what my motives are, or worse, my kid’s.
I hate that....with a passion.
Okay, maybe hate is a strong word, but when it comes to, let’s say, someone in my family who wrongly assumes to know the meaning behind my comment. Then yes, I’m just a bit annoyed because they should know me better. This especially applies to a friend, one of whom I may confide in and make myself vulnerable. They would probably know more about me than a family member might and if they're mad about something I said or did, don’t ignore me assuming I meant to be spiteful. That drives me batshit crazy. Use the big girl words and talk to me! If their way of handling the situation is to not respond to my calls, texts or emails (because I will try), it won’t be just an assumption our friendship meant very little. It would be proven.
As mentioned, on that short list of great annoyances is when a person assumes they know the motives of my child. Never assume you know my child because you’ve been teaching for decades and have come across similar circumstances. Never assume you know my child because yours did something similar. Never assume you know my child because you yourself behaved the same when you were young. Always give my child, any child, a chance to prove your worst assumption wrong by simply asking them the right questions and with the right tone.
Gone are the days when kids are to be seen and not heard, although I must admit that does sound like a really good practice sometimes. How are we to teach the concept of compassion and understanding to our children if we don’t apply it to them? On the flip side, I regularly play devil’s advocate when my kids make an assumption about a friend or a stranger. I give them something to think about and broaden the notion that someone may or may not have it better than them. If society is indeed cyclical, let’s try to make it a positive one.
Again, I’m not without fault, but being aware and trying to change is progress. Isn’t that what we do with bad habits? You won’t find me commenting on a situation I don’t know about or a even a stranger/celebrity/elected official that others may feel free to disparage. It doesn’t make me better than those that do, it makes me mindful of how my words might easily hurt someone whose shoes I haven’t walked in.
I must say though, I really don’t care about that old saying when you assume. You know the one where it makes an “ass out of u and me?” As far as I can tell, there’s only one “ass” in that word and I try not to be one.
Any thoughts on assumptions or stories to tell?
My photo adventures in Florida