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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two Phrases With Big Rewards

Don't make assumptions


It's not about me.

When I first quit smoking I realized that whenever I got stressed out, I wanted to head straight for smoke city to numb out and not feel so (angry, upset, hurt, etc.).  I have the same tendency with food and I am trying to be very aware of the triggers in order to combat them.

Phrase 1:  Don't Make Assumptions

What I have learned, mostly thanks to the process of quitting smoking, is that so often I would jump to some conclusion, based on some erroneous assumption, get stressed about THAT, and the reality is that the conclusion was often wrong, the assumption was wrong, and I got myself worked up over absolutely nothing.  

So I am learning to, instead, take a little pause between when I start to feel stressed and how I react....and try to poke holes in my assumptions.  More often than not, I can find alternative reasons something happened, and when I do this I end up pretty happy that I didn't react "loud and wrong."  

Phrase 2:  It's Not About Me

The second one is related and often the reason for jumping to conclusions and making assumptions in the first place.  It's a little harder to implement, but turns out to be one I keep on applying and practicing daily. 

When someone acts in any way toward me, I need to remember, it's not really about me.  If someone yells at me, that's about their own lack of control more than it is about my deserving to be yelled at.  If someone cops an attitude and tries to make me feel bad, that doesn't mean I am bad or that the person is right.  

I was stressed out one day when I had emailed a friend and didn't hear back that day.  Or the next.  I started getting very worked up.  Were they mad at me?  Did I say something wrong?  Maybe this person was just tired of the friendship?  Am I really that disposable?  And OMG couldn't this person just take the time out of courtesy to let me know?  What a rude thing to do!

Turns out the person's computer was on the fritz and the email was never received.  AND IT HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH ME!  Doh.

That one could have been a half dozen donut drama if I'd run with my own thoughts and felt all the feelings of rejection and being discarded.  Yikes.

So no making assumptions, and as much as I'd like the universe to revolve around me, it actually doesn't.  Got it!


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