I realized recently that the people in my life who think I spend a lot of time correcting them or others are the same people who frequently make incorrect assumptions about plenty of things. Sometimes the incorrect assumptions are made about details pertaining to logistics, situations, or decisions being made. Other times they are about my intentions, what I am thinking, what I am trying to say, how I will react to things, and so on. Very few things bother me more than being completely misunderstood, having my intentions incorrectly being perceived as negative when they are not, and being accused of things I am not doing.
It’s very frustrating trying to have a conversation with someone who constantly interrupts me in order to respond defensively because they THINK they know what I am going to say and that it will be something negative, especially when I am not ever given the chance to say what I had intended. Perhaps they think I am trying to tell them they won’t be able to do something they want to do, or sometimes they are assuming there is some hidden negative implication like I am trying to tell them they shouldn’t be doing something. Often it is perceived that I am trying to criticize someone or control a particular situation when that is not my intent at all. Not even close. It is equally as frustrating to have a conversation with someone who responds to most of what I say with assumptions that are very incorrect, rather than ask questions and listen to all of what is being said before jumping in with the assumptions. That means I spend a chunk of my end of the conversation correcting the misinformation they created and believe to be true.
Unfortunately, too many people listen to others with whatever filter they have formulated in their head based on their perception of the person or situation, and they hear only what they want to hear and see what they want to see that backs up their opinion or preconceived notion, which just adds to that incorrect perspective. It’s very hard to undo that, especially if that person is not open-minded and objects to hearing anything that will negate their viewpoint.
Ironically, I don’t like having to correct people, but the perception is that I do because it becomes necessary when people are making such incorrect assumptions so frequently. So it has become one more incorrect assumption that all I want to do is correct people. When it comes to my intentions that are being questioned though, I am going to correct someone every time.
I’ve come to REALLY appreciate the people in my life who respect me enough to listen when I talk and take what I am saying or asking at face value without adding their own interpretation of what I might be implying, when in fact, I am often not implying anything at all. Some people just like to find negatives where there aren’t any, and I don’t enjoy being around those people very much. I’d rather surround myself with people who actually bother to hear what I have to say without putting words in my mouth or thoughts in my head that they will then hold against me … forever. That leads to a lot less stress, drama, negativity, misunderstandings, misinformation, and necessary corrections. Life is a whole lot easier when we give people the benefit of the doubt and are willing to hear each other out.