Are You Making Assumptions in Your Relationships?
Assumptions are harmful in any relationship, whether it is with a friend, a colleague, family, or a romantic relationship.
When we assume, we’re going on little more than guesses, instead of facts, to make decisions.
Sometimes it’s big decisions, like whether or not to pursue a relationship.
You might think “They didn’t call me today like they said they would, so they’re not interested. Just forget it.”
You’re assuming you know what other people think and feel – that’s pretty bold!
You can’t be right all of the time!
How Do I Know If I’m Making Assumptions?
When you make assumptions in a relationship, you’re basically saying you know exactly what someone else is thinking and feeling.
But assumptions aren’t based on facts.
They’re based on what we think is going on in someone else’s head.
Even if you have reasons behind what you think, or are 99% sure that you’re right, you don’t know that you are.
And you won’t know until you talk to your partner!
Here is why Assumptions Are Harmful to Relationships
Misunderstanding One Another
Assumptions are harmful to our relationships not only because they lead to conflict, but because they cause the other person to feel unheard or misunderstood.
When you assume, you’re taking your partner’s words and changing them to mean what you think they mean.
This can leave you both feeling hurt.
Ashley Thorn, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Salt Lake City, Utah, says:
“You’re basically deciding a thought you’re having is ‘fact’ when you don’t have all the information.”
Your Partner Is Not a Mind Reader
And it’s not only about assuming what your partner thinks or feels about you.
It can also be a problem when you assume your partner knows what you’re thinking!
“I’m not a mind reader!” has been repeated so often that it’s become a sitcom trope, but it’s true.
Your partner can not really know what you’re thinking or how you’re feeling unless you tell them.
It seems romantic for your partner to just know what you need, but it’s not realistic.
Some of us want our partners to help out around the house more, bring us flowers for no reason, or know just what we need when we’re having a bad day.
Having to tell your significant other that you want and need these things seems to take some of the magic out of a romance, doesn’t it?
But magic isn’t real, and your relationship is!
Even Long-Term Relationships Aren’t Safe From Assumptions
By the time you and your partner have been together a few years, you might think you’re safe from assumptions.
It’s tempting to think that you’re at the point where you know each other so well, that you really do know what each other is thinking, but it’s always best to make sure.
“Assumptions in long-term relationships can vary widely depending on issues specific to each couple,” says Caitlin Killoren, a relationship-theory researcher and writer at relationship-training app Relish.
However, Killoren says that most assumptions in long-term relationships often stem from getting too comfortable and assuming your partner’s needs are being met.
It’s crucial to check in with each other regularly, to make sure both your needs are being met and that you’re still on the same page about the relationship.
Be honest, really listen, and be ready to accept any criticism.
How Can I Stop Making Assumptions and Stop Ruining My Relationships?
When we assume that our partner is angry with us, doesn’t love us anymore or doesn’t want to make us happy (just because they don’t know what we want them to do!), we are damaging our relationship.
Dr. Daniel Amen, neuroscientist and author of “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” refers to these assumptions and negative thoughts as ANTS – automatic negative thoughts.
Like real ants at a picnic, one or two of these negative thoughts are fine, but when they keep coming and coming -until you have a full-on infestation – they can take over your life.
These “infestations” in your mind can result in stress, anger, blaming, resentment, worry, and more – and can have serious consequences for your relationship.
To overcome these negative assumptions, you have to train your mind to question what you believe is real, and then follow through by actually talking to your partner!
Assumptions are harmful to our relationships, particularly our romantic relationships.
When we assume what our partner is thinking or feeling, or what is going on in the relationship, we are setting both partners up for emotional pain.
However, it isn’t always easy to question our assumptions – we’ve been conditioned all our lives to assume.
Don’t Settle For an Ordinary Relationship – Choose To Thrive!
At This LoveWorks, we are committed to helping you to gain the relationship you desire. Our programs use innovative relationship building techniques built on the principles of the latest research.
We believe that, by doing the work together, you can do more than just get through a rough patch – you can thrive.