Presuming, assuming, jumping to conclusions, and other flubs

After 30+ years of helping others manage and resolve conflict it’s time to jot down peace making pointers that may be of help to others.

One of the many flubs we make when arguing is believing we know what the other person is thinking. Sometimes we’re right; sometimes we’re wrong. And when we’re wrong we simply add fuel to the fire. Here are reminders to pay attention to what therapists call “mind reading.”

  1. Presumption means presuming such and such is so when in fact it might not be.
  2. Just because we feel something is true doesn’t make it true.
  3. Don’t forget to evaluate your perception of your perceptions.
  4. Through presumption comes nothing but strife. (Proverbs 13:10, NASB)
  5. Consider the possibility that what you heard isn’t what someone  actually said.
  6. Remember you are not 100% objective.
  7. We filter other’s words through our own subjective grid.
  8. Jumping to conclusions often means jumping into conflict.
  9. To clarify what others mean simply ask, “Is this what you mean?
  10. Tell them what you think they’re saying and ask if you’re right.
  11. Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.
  12. No two people see the world in exactly the same way.

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