Making Assumptions?

1397435_girl_with_hulahoopI was in quite a hurry at Trader Joe’s recently and did not return my cart to the rack. Did I mention it was also raining?  I usually take that step but the person driving the car that my runaway cart nearly hit didn’t know that.

I sensed a definite eye roll, likely an unkind comment but most vividly was the character label I felt being flung my direction.  Inconsiderate, selfish, flighty.

Later that afternoon I stayed longer than usual at a patient’s bedside in my chaplain role, spent extra time consoling a family, and initiated a conversation with a nurse about how one of her family members was doing.

An observer might call it,  kind, caring, excellent in my job.

Either set of onlookers would not have suspected the “other” view.  Both were mostly accurate in the contexts.  All were Assumptions.

We all do the assuming too.  How about the guy who cut you off in traffic? The super fun waitress? The receptionist who treated you very rudely?   The very gracious doorman? I often think I have someone all figured out based on one encounter.  I have to believe I am on the receiving end of that too.

Like it or not, someone is always making assumptions about what they see in the moment they spend with you.  How do you choose to be regarded?

My best self would have returned that cart.  I hope I remember that on my next trip, even if it is raining.

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4 Responses to “Making Assumptions?”


  1. 1 Jan Peterson July 11, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    i always love your “food for thought” messages! and i totally agree with you.and… your shopping cart story reminds me of a conversation i had a few years ago with my sister. she NEVER returned her cart to the stall. i called her out on it and mentioned that she would be the first one to complain to the management if a runaway cart hit her car. jan

  2. 2 Letitia Suk July 11, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Thanks, Jan! Is she returning the carts now??

  3. 3 Michelle Rayburn July 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Was just talking to my husband about something along these lines yesterday. We talked about how we worry sometimes about what people think, and worry that they assume something about us that isn’t true. Example: he went to pay for our meal at the counter of a restaurant and we left the tip on the table. He worried the checkout person might assume we were non-tippers. I said, “What does it matter what they think if we know we did the right thing?”

    Sometimes, we want to defend ourselves when caught in the midst of someone’s negative assumption about us. I need the reminder to assume the best in others, and not worry so much if they don’t do the same for me.


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