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Day 1650 - Agreement Three

Thursday, June 06, 2019

This is a continuation of yesterday's blog post on The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Today's blog regards Agreement Three: "Don't Make Assumptions"

It can be pretty dangerous to assume you know what is going on in another person's mind when they say something that is confusing or appears to be hurtful. If we assume we know what the other one is thinking, we have the potential to create a false situation.

There are some assumptions that can be safe to adopt when you are on the receiving end of a hurtful comment. "Oh, they must be having a really bad day." That kind of assumption can help avoid negative feelings and adopt a kinder attitude toward the other person. However, even those "safe" assumptions can cause harm if you start spreading rumors about the other person based on that assumption. "They must be having a bad day because they got a poor evaluation from their supervisor." That kind of thinking can stoke the fires of the gossip train. Just don't go there.

Assumptions are also dangerous when you are building relationships. Ruiz writes about two people who plan to get married. If they make assumptions about how the other person views being married, that can create a lot of tensions that cause fighting and misunderstandings. Rather than assuming, it's always best to ask for information and clarification, and to share what you want as well.

There's an old saying: "Don't assume - it just makes an ASS out of U and ME." Let's just say that it's best never to assume anything.

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Agreement One:

Agreement Two:
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Stoping and listening, evaluating and accepting feeling helps with this issue
    579 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Never judge by appearances...
    591 days ago
    I am a person who usually asks a lot of questions because I don't always understand what people are saying if they are writing or agitated. I do think some people find it irritating. My husband and I are always open with each other.
    593 days ago
    So many conflicts and needless pain could be avoided it we would just simply ask questions before assuming something. It can be scary ...but it can clear up so many little things before they become big things.
    594 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15118206
    I remind my team about this ALL THE TIME! I think this is Chad's favorite agreement.

    Much Love!!
    595 days ago
    In my work life, I was trained or learned to never make assumptions about a person’s actions or words. I resorted to inquiry and tried my best to understand what was going on in a person's mind. However, that's not always easy in a personal relationship, especially when your better half hits you with the following;
    "You shouldn't have to ask, you should know: what you did wrong; how I feel; or what you need to do to end this." Inevitably, I'd get it wrong. Nevertheless, I learned that in situations like this, it's best to be silent allowing time to thaw things out. So far (40 years) so good.

    595 days ago
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    596 days ago
    'Don't assume' - so true. Many times the assumption is incorrect.
    596 days ago
  • SPICY23
    If only it were that simple. One can strive for clarity and concise language and still have it be taken with an unintended meaning.

    I'm with JEANKNEE: "Ironically, this seems to be the very characteristic for which I am attacked the most … asking questions. It continues to amaze me how many appear to feel attacked simply because a question has been asked." even when one explains that they are only seeking information, simply want to understand and/or are not a mind-reader.

    Communication is fraught! Tread lightly and carefully.

    Peace and Care
    596 days ago
    Unfortunately, many women suffer because of this ailment - we need to remember that if you never ask for what you need, you'll never get the help you want. Assuming others know what we feel, think, need...that's a recipe for passive/aggressive behavior.


    596 days ago
    Really like this particular sentence in the Don Miguel Ruiz quote associated with this agreement:

    "... Have the courage to ask questions …"

    Ironically, this seems to be the very characteristic for which I am attacked the most … asking questions. It continues to amaze me how many appear to feel attacked simply because a question has been asked.

    I remember hearing that for innovation to occur there needs to be an open, willingness to question.
    596 days ago
    This one is me. I always try to make everyone happy and if I don't hear from someone in awhile I think I did something to make them mad. I always assume the worst.
    I usually stress about things and then find out it wasn't something I said or did. (There is the ASS part.) emoticon
    597 days ago
    I repeat that old saying often!
    597 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    597 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    First impressions can be the most accurate in evaluating a stranger's behavior. Just saying.
    598 days ago
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