People have a strong imagination. Imaginations create stories in your mind. You imagine what others may say about us or do behind our backs. Your mind jumps to conclusions, and eventually, you start to believe them.
These imaginations come from our deeply held assumptions. Assumptions come from people's innate desire to find answers. When the answer cannot be found, people make assumptions.
But assumptions can be wrong.
An assumption is an unexamined belief or
to accept something as true without question or proof. Cambridge English Dictionary
For example, when you meet a foreigner for the first time, you start to make exaggerated hand gestures and facial expressions. You assume foreigners are incapable of communicating your native language.
Or you noticed an elderly man struggling up the stairs, and you immediately supported him. Instead, he scowled and shouted, "Don't touch me!" You assumed he needed help because he's vulnerable.
Detecting assumptions is challenging. Yet, holding onto them can create conflict and cause unnecessary offence. Identify and challenge your assumptions by asking
Could I be wrong? Is this grounded in reality?
Inspired by Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements