“Oh you must be loaded since you contribute regularly to various charitable causes…….”
“She anyway does not care, why bother asking her?…..”
“She surely does not have much to say given that she is a quiet person….”
“You do yoga, you must be a pro at meditation and of course flexibility is never an issue for you……….”
“I assumed you were busy and wouldn’t come, so I did not ask you….
“He is always smiling, he has an easy life….”
What does what you just heard sound like ?
An assumption, a stereotype, a single story.
An assumption is something that is taken as the truth without attempting to check for facts. When you make an assumption, you assume characteristics of other people without really taking the time and effort to get to know them.
What happens when you assume?
- Does your self assumptions inhibit you from further development, growth and keeping an open mind?
- Have you assumed that your customer is not interested in the diverse range of products your firm has to offer and thus you don’t bother exploring having a conversation with your client?
- Have you assumed that your business partner or friend or spouse automatically knows what you want or the type of day you have had ?
- If you think you are a leader do you ask questions to clarify or assume that your team has understood your vision and what you have expressed?
- Have you asked why someone in a business or personal relationship consistently keeps calling you though you may have explicitly stated that you don’t want to be disturbed?
- How many times do you generalize an entire country or nationality based on few people you happen to know?
Bottom line, every time you assume, you narrow your thinking, you stop exploring, you stop asking questions, you bring a parasite into your relationships, you could possibly end up spoiling your relationships, and make yourself unhappy.
- How many times have you been at the receiving end and how many times have you assumed or used a single story on someone?
- How have you felt when you have been a victim of an assumption either on social media or in real life?
Here is a Ted Video on The Danger of A Single Story
Find the courage to ask questions. Don’t make assumptions, since assumptions are the bane on relationships.
Do you want to limit yourself with a narrow and close minded view of the world?
Do you want to perceive the world through assumptions made on your narrow thinking of being influenced by others ?
Do you want to believe in Single Stories?