How often do we make assumptions??

Isn’t it interesting that no matter how many times we are told, we still do it, and that is make assumptions about people. ‘ Never judge a book by it’s cover’ my mum used to say. When we meet people for the first time I am sure that within the first few seconds we have judged that person.

How do we judge them? By their clothes, the way they speak, how they look, what they say, what they do for a living, what car they drive, where they live? Some, or all of these factors enter into our decision making process.I guess that we have to go through this ‘checklist’ to enable us to find out whereabouts this person is going to fit into our life.

Are we ever going to see them again? Are we doing business with them? Are they friend material? Will we be seeing them regularly (doctors etc) Are we buying something from them? Can we trust them? How do we work out the answers to all these questions in such a short space of time?

I guess our minds all work differently, and I feel that our decisions are related to our life experience. Maybe the older you get, the more accurate your assumptions are? I would like to think that I’m now making more accurate assumptions about people now, than I was when I was starting out in my work.

As most of you know, I spent a good few years buying and selling ladies clothing. I was meeting a lot of different people, and I had to very quickly work out if I could trust them or not? Could they deliver what I required, when I required it? Would they pay me on time? I did get a few decisions wrong, but generally I am not too wrong about people. My wife always laughs when I tell her that I know a lot about a person I have just met!

I mention the above because we also make assumptions about peoples health when we see them. I would like to give you a few examples of some that I was involved with. See if you have experienced anything similar?

We went shopping to our local supermarket with my eldest son, and he was watching the girls on the checkouts. He mentioned that one, didn’t really look happy. I said, maybe she has some worries. He responded by saying, how could she, as she didn’t have a responsible job, so he assumed that she had nothing too taxing to think about! I explained that any number of things could have happened in her life, which we didn’t know about.

Several years ago now, when I was recovering from my bone marrow transplant, I used to walk daily, to try and recover my strength. It was cold and I had my Crystal Palace hat on. A man stopped me and explained that he was a Palace fan too but he had just had a stroke, which I could see, so he couldn’t go to the next few games. I said I couldn’t either. He asked me why? I explained briefly what I had been through and he was stunned. He assumed that of the two of us he was worse off. He didn’t even imagine I was ill at all.

My last example of assumptions, was the one that happened to me yesterday and prompted me to write this post. I was travelling back from London, and as you know it is Easter hols. Standing next to me was a young mum, and her excited daughter. She was holding a bag and almost begging me to ask her about the contents. Trust me, I started a conversation!!! (I know!)

They had been to a place called M+M world, which apparently sells all sorts of over priced goodies related to the sweet brand. I asked if they spent all day there? Mum told me that in the morning, they had to go to Great Ormond St hospital for the little girl to have a pre op assessment. The little girl was so lovely and lively, I assumed it was for tonsills or similar. No. The operation she was going to have, meant that she was going to end up in a wheel chair!!! My goodness me, she was such a little darling, you would never know.

That brought a big lump to my throat, as I left the train. It summed it all up for me really. Despite what you see on the outside, you never know what is going on behind the mask that we all wear to get us through the day.

Do you find yourself making assumptions as you go through the day? Do you have any examples we could learn from? Please feel free to make a comment.

For new readers of this blog, there is a lot of interesting material in my earlier posts too so please feel free to check back. Just click on older posts, when you reach the bottom of the page.

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