The Autopsy of Assumptions

TAOA
The day to day monotone of an individual often relies on unconventional methods to make it viable. Then again, conventionality is a relative term, with it’s definition changing as a perceiver changes. Considering the monotone as a terrain, with peaks and valleys, plateaus and plains gives a handy idea. The valley following a peak may often be harmful. You can navigate that by either cutting off the peak; which unsurprisingly none of us want to; or by filling in the valleys. Perhaps the most common way to fill these valleys are the receiving of assurances, trust, love and appraisal. And none of the aforementioned gifts are guaranteed. So what does one do!? Either hit the floor hard or at least create a temporary cushion not exactly lasting, but good enough to absorb the fall? The cushion is often imaginary fake assumed.

I find the very concept of assumptions lazy. Everything about it is lazy. The process, the accusations, the benefits. I even refuse to accept it as a legitimate term. ‘Assumptions’, in my view is the greater roof which encloses the more astute subordinates – estimates, presumptions and conjectures. Granted, all three are based on incomplete information, but anyone with a substantial experience of life knows that the probability of you knowing everything about something is next to zero. Somewhere, sometime, someplace; we all assume. You go to sleep every night assuming that your body will function properly all night so that you wake up well and alive. You assume that your family will love you, support you; that your friends will help you and that things will eventually be all right.

Every relationship to me is two people reading each other as a book. Reading the tales, the embarrassments, the triumphs, the happiness and the sadness. Of course, then comes the shortcomings of how many chapters one opens up to someone. Someone may not want to be an open book, while some are.  And when your counterpart is an open book, he needs your words to write a chapter about you in his story. Consider it such, that your counterpart requires an emotional influx from you. It’s a mandatory part of all deep, meaningful relationships. Now, he demands an influx at a rate quite faster than the rate you’re willing to provide at. That makes it difficult to be blunt and straight, and he does need answers. So in his mind he has voids. He fills them with his next best option, judgment and assumptions – which are mostly based on close observation of your traits and behaviour. Since he has built temporary conclusions which many times he isn’t consciously aware of, he refrains from poking for more influx. And as usual, you’re inclined to keeping cards close to your chest. This creates a divide –  something which happens to every relationship.

And the thing is, if he assumes, he doesn’t actually realise that he’s doing it. For him it’s the absolute godly sense of self righteous intellect that tells him that he’s figured this out, and since from his view point the gaps he has filled make sense, he declares them astute. As an aftermath, his notion about the relationship he shares with you becomes tinted, and he tries to fit everything into the narrative he has in his mind. And when one situation pops up which doesn’t fit into the narrative, he ends up in a fix. Either he questions his narrative he is quite convinced of, or he confronts you. You end up astounded, amazed and often offended about the things he has assumed about you. In your own place, you have a right to be hurt and angry. But if you ask him to explain, as to why he made such assumptions, the things he may tell you can shake your world, and change how you look at yourself, and often change how you portray yourself. This doesn’t happen in every relationship, of course. It takes a high level of understanding between the two parties to reach this level. Because even assumptions need a platform of information, knowledge of the partner’s smaller habits and obvious traits. Assumptions often create a domino effect, one small assumption paves way for bigger, larger assumptions to shoot in.

Such a situation is quite essential, to take your relationship to a deeper level. It’s a mark of the strength of the bond between two people that one has the confidence to indulge and assume about the other, and believe that he/she is correct.

Assumptions are crude, and accusations of being assuming are rude. Let’s not assume that the assumptions made are baseless, for you’d never assume that you may be at the fault as well. Assuming that – one is mature enough to talk  out of a mess and make the initial assumption – that eventually everything is gonna be all right- become a reality.

Author: Vishvaraj Chauhan

I read, I write. I slip and I slide. I live and I laugh. I love to listen to music, think about every thing that my brain thinks worthy of mentioning and take up a little too much load. But hey, that's why I'm here! The sage in a cage.

12 thoughts on “The Autopsy of Assumptions”

  1. Assumptions (stereotyping) whilst extremely fallible are necessary in everyday life. Most every decision we make is tied into assumption or stereotyping. The problems arise when people take assumption and stereotyping as fact instead of with caution.

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  2. Assumptions are a necessary evil. They are, by definition, accepted truth without the backing of any measurable proof. In any relationship, assumptions about the other person puts one in a very tricky situation. In such a case, isn’t it better to first look for some amount of evidence on which to base your assumptions? But even that evidence can become distorted based upon your perception. You view things not as they are, but as you are taught to or conditioned to. Your own attitude and perception affects how you accept and form assumptions about a particular aspect or behavior of the other person, which may or may not be true. Here lies the problem which creates a divide in a relationship.

    “You end up astounded, amazed and often offended about the things he has assumed about you. In your own place, you have a right to be hurt and angry. But if you ask him to explain, as to why he made such assumptions, the things he may tell you can shake your world…” Isn’t it better to ask questions, clarify your doubts to fill the void instead of declaring what your assumptions are to your counterpart irrespective of whether he has asked to know them or not? Yes, assumptions are necessary, they dictate your behavior in a relationship, but other than having no tangible proof, they are also temporary in nature. They are meant to change and evolve based on your growing understanding of your counterpart.

    You go to sleep every night assuming that your body will function properly all night so that you wake up well and alive. For the most part, this assumption is based on how healthy or sick you feel, and what your medical report says. You assume that your family will love you based on their behavior towards you. You assume that your friends will help you based on the strength of your relationship and your understanding of the limitations of your friends. The assumption that things will eventually be all right is just based on your mood and level of optimism. All these assumptions have a certain amount of evidence but more importantly, all these assumptions are subject to change based on what course your life takes.

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  3. Before I explain and try to answer your queries, I’d like to thank you massively for posing these questions. They have been nagging me and I’m sure many who have read this post must be having them, so here I try to explain my thinking, taking help from excerpts of my experience.

    ‘Isn’t it better to ask questions, clarify your doubts to fill the void instead of declaring what your assumptions are to your counterpart irrespective of whether he has asked to know them or not?’

    Ideally, yes. But I have mentioned that clarifying one’s doubts is not always the option, as often the sender is unwilling to divulge that information, which then creates a gap of communication. I saw assumptions, in this case as a product of the communication gap, not as the perpetrator.

    ‘They are meant to change and evolve based on your growing understanding of your counterpart.’

    Again, agreed. But I am talking of a scenario where the flux required to grow the understanding isn’t arriving. When that doesn’t happen, the temporary stages of assumptions cease to exist and they – mostly wrongly – start becoming the versions of tinted truth. Simply because they weren’t challenged when they were raw.

    ‘All these assumptions have a certain amount of evidence but more importantly, all these assumptions are subject to change based on what course your life takes.’

    I have already mentioned in the post, that “..even assumptions need a platform of information, knowledge of the partner’s smaller habits and obvious traits.” My focus, as I hope to have made it clear is when you end up at a crossroads with going back rendered invalid. Or maybe when you’re at a standstill in your relationship, feeling that it is going nowhere.

    Massive thanks to you, sir. Hope I have done enough.

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    1. I personally like a little bit of mystery, something to be left to the imagination. It prevents the relationship from becoming dull as there is something new to discover just around the corner. Assumption are your way of filling the void and strengthening your bond with your counterpart. I cannot say whether it is the right way or not, its just your way. My way is to just let the void be (usually) and let time takes its course. It requires immense patience letting the other person reveal different aspects of their personality at their own pace, but it is also exciting as you never know what you might discover. It also makes you feel special when you realize that they chose you from a sea of people to reveal a certain truth, strength or vulnerability to.

      I still have a certain difference of opinion with regard to your autopsy of assumptions, but as they say, to each their own. However, I do thank you for your thoughtful reply to my questions.

      P.S: I may not necessarily be a ‘sir’. 😉

      – V

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe that’s why it is said that each one of us looks at relationships differently. I look for a structured, methodological and a somewhat selfish input-output relationship. Not everyone is the same. It does require immense patience with someone, true as you did say. But what happens when one person is one who wants to fill the void and his/her counterpart is the one who want’s to let the void be? Who gives way? Or to say, who takes a step onto changing what one believes in?

        Anyway, I am glad you have certain reservations to this post, it adds a different beauty to it. If everything ever said was accepted,the world would not be the beautiful dichotomy it is today. And, thank you once again, ma’am. 🙂

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