resolving miscommunication part 1 – assumptions


Assumptions are the termites of relationships.  ~Henry Winkler

oh Fonzie…how wise you are.  now go punch a jukebox and play me some Keith Urban while i make the world better for lovers.

Mr. Winkler-Fonzarelli has it right.  assuming you understand what the other person is trying to communicate during a verbal skirmish will eat away at any real understanding.  what isn’t right is that whole “if you assume, it will make an ass of u and me” thing.  nope.  it pretty much just makes an ass of you.

communication takes effort.*  coloring what the other person is saying with your own (probably busted) filter doesn’t help.

when trying to understand what is actually being said, there are some things you need to remember.

*warning* list ahead…

  1. do not assign evil motives – unless you’re dating Lex Luther, you cannot assume everything that comes out of your snuggle buddy’s mouth is meant to do you harm.  that’s not only unlikely, it’s unreasonable.
  2. ask for clarification – if you think an emotional dart has just been hurled at your left ventricle, ask if that was what was intended.  give the other person a chance to a) take another stab** at what they actually meant or b) apologize for hitting below the belt.  for a decent partner in love crimes, those two options are going to be at the top of the reasonable list.
  3. don’t stew in your putrid juices – do not wait to get clarification.  engage immediately.  things get bigger the more we try to figure them out without knowing the reality.  internalizing what someone has said without actually talking to them about it is bad for business.  it also becomes harder to approach the issue the longer you wait.  you have to remember that your beloved may not even be aware you’ve been hurt.

above all class, stay optimistic and don’t look for negative ways to interpret what’s being said.

clarify.  clarify.  clarify.

what you hear may not be what was intended.

have you ever made assumptions about the intent of another person?


*you’ll hear this sentence a lot during this series.

**pun totally intended.


5 comments on “resolving miscommunication part 1 – assumptions

  1. JBen says:

    I love the assigning evil motives part. There is that old joke, “if something I said can be interpreted 2 ways, and one of them make you feel terrible and hurt, I meant the other one.”

    Why do you think we are so quick to assume people, especially the ones we are closest to, are out to get us?

    Also, that pun was terrible. Way to go.

  2. nateaton says:

    Great thought-provoking post Sharideth. As communicating with my wife is one of my weaker areas, I look forward to the other parts of this series.

  3. Mandie Marie says:

    You can essentially start calling these posts, “Dear Amanda”.

    I stew like it’s my job. Ugh.

  4. The T says:

    omg I get attacked on my own blog constantly when trying to make a point and not realizing that most of my audience is female… you gals just view the world a little different than we do… no worries… cavement once raided different villages for thier potential mates…you girls don’t have to understand our motives…not when we men are carrying clubs…lmao…

    speaking of that, where’s my damn club?

    wickedly fun smiles abound!


  5. Jen says:

    I have to confess how ridiculous I can be… especially with breaking rule #1. Last week at church our small group had ended and everyone was starting to head to ‘big church’ (yes I still call it that). My BF and I don’t usually sit together during small group, him with his guys and me with my girls (ya know, like Jr High) but then we sit together in church. I let everyone leave without me cause I was waiting for him so we could walk together. He was talking to someone but then he made eye contact with me so I figured he was ready to walk. I went over to him and he offered to let me go on ahead of him so I could save seats. *Instead* of thinking he was sweet for not wanting me to wait for him, I made the *assumption* that it was a ‘Go grab us seats and make me a sandwich while you’re at it’ kind of offer… so I spun on my heels and stewed through the whole service until I could *confront* him on it afterward. Needless to say, he was blindsided by it. and I learned a lesson on what a jerk I am… :/

    (oops long comment. Sorry!)

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