The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz ~ Agreement # 3 ~ Don’t Make Assumptions

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.

The problem about making assumptions is we come to believe something that isn’t true, take it personally, and then react to that untruth with drama. It is much easier to Be impeccable with your word, Assumption #1, by asking questions for clarification before letting your mind create its own reality. In personal and professional situations, this can help avoid a lot of heartache. It may take courage to ask, especially if you are afraid of what you might hear, but it makes for less drama, more integrity, and clearer communication. For example, at work you overhear several colleagues talking about food and desserts and since it’s Friday, you assume they are talking about a social event they have in common over the weekend. You start to feel badly because you haven’t been included. You tell yourself that they aren’t interested in you socially and that maybe you don’t really like them either. You go into your office and feel isolated. Instead of joining in the conversation, or asking about the event, you’ve made an assumption. We have the need to justify everything, to explain and understand everything, in order to feel safe… is not important if the answer is correct; just the answer itself makes us feel safe. Later that day, the program coordinator brings a menu into your office and asks you to choose your favorite entrees. She is trying to gather opinions to plan a formal event next week when your department will host a renowned guest. You then realize what the morning’s conversation had been about. Perhaps you’ve recently been interviewed for a position but haven’t heard anything in several weeks. Don’t make any assumptions. Email or phone to ask them where they are in the hiring process and let them know you are still very much interested. Find your voice to ask for what you want. Everybody has the right to tell you no or yes, but you always have the right to ask.