Are Assumptions Cluttering Your Life?
One of my blogger-colleagues over at Real Simple, Erin Doland, wrote a FINE post today called, Keep Assumptions from Cluttering Up Your Life.
Erin's post has to do with "reading between the lines" and I personally enjoyed it very much because I'm guilty of doing this, maybe you are too? I'd like to quote her for a moment, "As a writer, I come into contact with eisegesis (the process of reading something into a text that isn't in the text) all the time. People will read my articles and then write me e-mails referencing things that don't appear in the text. I'll mention a product that can help handicapped people, and then I'll receive an e-mail asking me why I hate handicapped people. Or, I'll write about a baby crib, and then I'll receive an e-mail asking me why I hate people who co-sleep with their infants. The interpretations people make aren't always negative, but they are always baffling because they are so far off base. So much time and energy is wasted over misconceptions and misinterpretations." Erin said this so well I think.
Would you not agree that we all spend wayyyy to much time, especially as women, getting offended easily by things we either read online or see in person... I don't see nearly as many men running around feeling excluded so I think it tends to be more of a girl thing. I talked to my husband about this and he assured me that most men don't sit around for days thinking about how another man treated them at work, for instance.
It comes down to feeling excluded. I often think that being online amongst so many others freely sharing thoughts on blogs, forums, etc. that it can sometimes feel a bit like high school. Like some kind of popularity contest. I have seen this and I'm willing to bet that you're nodding your head as you read this - you've felt it too.
I feel it all of the time, excluded, left out, dissed, however you term it. In the end, there is no real way to change this - no way to change feeling left out because we all feel left out at one time or another, we cannot avoid being the last girl picked to dance at times... Okay there is a way but it has to do with how we think: changing how we look and react to things. For instance, I recently helped someone who assists a producer of a popular television show to find people who would be appearing in a specific show they planned to tape and I did a lot of work to help them locate those people and in the end, they gave me absolutely no credit at all. In fact, they credited everyone except me. At first, I was upset. I wrote to them immediately and explained how I felt and an apology was sent back in return so I'm okay with it now. But still. Talk about being shut out.
Some of us are more sensitive than others, but even in the tough girls I see this genuine interest in fitting in and being accepted. I hope that you'll read Erin's blog post for some great tips on just how to avoid allowing assumptions to clutter your life because sometimes we aren't being dissed at all, it's just how we are perceiving things to be.
Since we are amongst friends here on this blog, I'd love to open this up for discussion. I'm interested in getting your thoughts on how you filter out negative thinking, how you avoid allowing assumptions to rule your thinking, and if you are currently feeling excluded or upset about something, air that laundry here because I'd love to hear what's going on in your life and how you as a small business woman, blogger, man, woman, student, whatever - how do you handle feelings of being excluded: whether real or imagined. All I ask is that if you have issues against someone in particular, please do not state their real name because that is not needed.
I'll share below my personal thoughts in the comments section as well, so it's not just me asking you but I am willing to share on this topic too.
So who wants to go first? How do you avoid allowing assumptions to take over your life?
(photograph taken by holly becker)