Get Your Assumptions Right

On 29 March, 2010 by Carol

There was something i read 2 years ago in the book “Messages” by Mckay, David and Fanning about “Mistaken traditional assumptions” and “Your legitimate rights”  This part of the book got my full attention.

If you own the book, open page 122, if not, buy it. It’s a great read. Else, just read them on the link below.

Basically, there are 18 assumptions and 18 rights but number 6, 9 and 10 are the ones i want to talk about.
When i first read them, i thought they were quite rebellious, until i was in a position where the 3 below made a lot of sense.

Something happened today and made me come straight home and open the book.
Just to be clear, i don’t rule my life by books, but by decent common-sense.

Assumption 6: “You should be flexible and adjust. Others have good reasons for their actions and it’s not polite to question them.”
You right: You have a right to protest unfair treatment or criticism.

As long as a treatment and criticism is unfair, i truly believe one should protest. No one should go through any emotional torture, especially one without a reason. Such things happen quite a lot.
But what if the problem isn’t on the other side? What if one can’t take any criticism at all? What if you only hear one side of the story?
Constructive criticism is the key to a lot of improvements, but how do you deal with the one that can’t take it at all?
If anybody can help me with this, i will be very grateful.

Assumption 9: You shouldn’t take up others’ valuable time with your problems.
Your right: You have a right to ask for help or emotional support.

And so it happens…The question is: how do you ask for help and emotional support the right way?
When do you know if is the right time and place?
And what do you do if others react on that, not because they live by assumption number 9, but because they find the moment or place inappropriate?
Yes, the last line refers to my feelings!  I do believe that other people’s time is precious and i think about their feelings before i start venting.
I also believe in being discreet about certain matters, because by default, some matters are sensitive.
Sure, maybe is a matter of upbringing or simply a matter of a “lesson learned” and maybe even a matter of just being open…but some of us, appreciate discretion.
Am i guilty of number 9? Not by some standards. Do ask the for emotional support if you need it. You have that right.

Assumption 10: People don’t want to hear that you feel bad, so keep it to yourself.
Your right: You have a right to feel and express pain.

You shouldn’t keep it to yourself! It will just start a trail of negative thoughts and you know what they say….Thinking kills.
It’s ok to express your pain, but is not ok to complain about it when is most annoying. Others, such as myself, will take that the wrong way.

When someone expresses pain, i feel it. Joy, anger, frustration….you name it, i feel it.
Is not a sharp sense. It’s just a matter of being very receptive to others feelings and some times i find it hard to deal with it.

The only problem is, i will also be receptive to the others feelings. Can you imagine the commotion in my head?

Say one caused you pain…even if i only know your side of the story, i will still feel your pain. I will also think about the other one.
Question is: What if i am not ready for that?What if that’s the part when i will get it/ understand it the wrong way?

It’s very courageous when people speak up. It really is. But it is also very courageous to be fair.
It’s very courageous to analyze your feelings and pain very carefully and then, if it doesn’t feel right, exercise your rights.
A problem stays a problem till you get to the real root that causes it. Deal with the source.

If you are to express your pain/anger/ frustration, don’t overdo it. It can get toxic or become a habit.

I made a comment today that came off quite wrong. The entry hasn’t got much to do with my comment, but rather with the situation to which i made my comment and my feelings after.

I might have failed my communication today, but a gentle lady reminded me, in her own way, to be gentle with myself.

For a while there, i forgot how to do that. All  i needed was an “off-the-wall” comment followed by the strangest tear. It makes you look at a situation from a different perspective.
If you are not gentle with yourself, you won’t be with others.

  • Carol

    Hi Ivormac,

    First of all, thank you so much for your comment. For some weird reason, i believe you understand me a lot better than i intended this entry to show.
    I often find myself giving….to my own self a really hard time. It could be because of this huge conscience i happen to own and can't get rig off it, or simply because at some degree i know that if i am hard on myself, i will get better at anything i do.
    Critiques that are well intended and with a point, are more than welcome, but some people suck at that…and i have to suck up at the fact that i can't be mean right back.
    I wish i was, but i can't.
    I wish i said what i feel and think, but only the thought of hurting some out makes me put my guns down.
    It's just not fair that one can afford to throw garbage at you and you can't do that right back.

    I am very sorry you had to live through that to learn and i hope you are well.
    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and your pain. I very much appreciate that.
    Keep in touch and do share your other thoughts. It might help someone like me.


  • ivormac

    Hi Carol,

    I have found myself in similar situations to numerous too mention. I have found that the basic premise you must abide by is honesty in all things, including yourself. Not brutal honesty, the kind that is self justifying and pompous. I mean the kind that says within yourself, this is right, this is wrong. The kind that recognises the person on the other side as well as yourself. The kind, in short, that helps you to make the right decision at that time and on reflection you can live with.

    You cannot beat yourself up over things you should have or could have done. If you are wrong be prepared to accept this and move one. If you are right be prepared to accept this yourself and do not await external vindication.

    An former mentor of mine said, “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection”. This statement sums up for me the need to be accepting of criticism, use it to move forward, learn to recognise those who seek to help you in this way and be comfortable in rejecting those who mean to bring you down.

    Carol, I share your pain in this regard. I have had to endure the complete destruction of myself, spending time in hospital recovering from my attempts to silence my critics the harshest of which was myself.

    Good luck.

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