Tuesday, 7 November 2017

We often make assumptions about others. How could that be harmful?

By Valentina García (The World in English elective)

Making assumptions is something that we do on a daily basis because that is how our society and our life works. When you meet someone for the first time, when you see people fighting with each other, when you see someone cry or when you start to think about reasons why people are the way they are. In all of those scenarios we are making assumptions because we really do not know how the other person is feeling, or why are the acting or behaving that way, but we intend to give an explanation with whatever thoughts or ideas we have about that person.

The important thing about assumptions is that you do not stick to them because in that case, you will not be able to see how people really are. Sometimes we “marry” ourselves with that assumption or that single story, like Chimamanda Adichie explained on her Ted Talk of The Danger of a Single Story, and doing that is completely harmful because you are not only limiting yourself to discover new thing but also, you are identifying that person with just that version of yours that might or might not be true. In most of the cases, that single story is not the whole story of a person and we, as intelligent, reasonable and good human beings, should give ourselves the opportunity to get to know their whole story in order to have a most accurate opinion or point of view about a situation in particular.

So, how we stop making assumptions? Dr Marcia Sirota, a doctor who specializes in health and wellness, says that all we have to do is pause as we’re jumping to our conclusions and ask ourselves, “How do I know this?” If the answer to that question is anything other than “I learned it through observing the evidence or through obtaining factual information,” then we’re at risk of making an incorrect assumption. In that case we need to stop and do our “own fact-checking” before deciding that we know something, so we cannot be blind with some story that might not be true.

There are some basic questions we should ask ourselves, or some tips, as you want to take them:
- Stay open minded and put all your efforts in understanding the real story of other person.
- Try to find out as much as you can if you have some doubts or questions because if you do not ask, you will never know.
- And the most important one, try to learn new thing as much as you can because that is what keeps our lives going.

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