A lovely acquaintance asked me a question one morning, ‘where do your parents live?’ I said, ‘both my parents have passed away.’ He looked astounded, said he was sorry and seemed a bit uncomfortable. After a few seconds of silence, he looked at me with a smile and asked, ‘you must have siblings?’ I said, ‘I am an only child.’
His initial question was as innocent as they come and pretty much based on a natural assumption that we all tend to make. But his reaction made me realise that not only had he made an assumption, he believed it to be true. His discomfort also made me feel that I should have answered his questions differently.
We assume a lot of things in our everyday lives.
I am guilty of that myself.
For a long time, I mistook my assumptions to be my intuition and off I went in a downward spiral of losing trust in myself.
How do you differentiate between assumption and intuition?
Both assumption and intuition lack conscious reasoning and deal with the unknown.
But assumption is based on assessments made through good or bad judgement whereas intuition is based on trust and an inner knowing.
How do you know when we have an intuitive feeling?
It comes from a place of non-judgement and peace.
It does not seek validation.
The feeling is deep-seated, one we cannot shake off easily even if everything around is conveying a different message to us.
It is not dictated by our fears or insecurities.
When we have an intuitive feeling, we are less likely to be anxious because it comes from a place of trust.
How can you avoid making assumptions?
Assumptions generally bring about unhealthy relationship dynamics.
We tend to either assume the worst in people and withdraw ourselves from a potentially fulfilling experience or assume the best in people and give more of yourself, forgetting that we matter just as much too.
- It is important to ask open-ended questions. Questions that begin with ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘why’, ‘where’, create space for genuine exploration during a conversation.
- Be conscious that everyone’s journey is different and no two experiences are the same. Perspectives vary and that is what keeps life interesting.
- Allow people the opportunity to open themselves in an organic way. Some people need more time than others. Trust in that flow.
The bottom line is that we all want to be heard and feel connected.
How do you differentiate between an assumption and intuition? How has listening to your intuition helped you?