Lesson 37: Don’t be so sure (of anything)

Remember when I said you are not as smart as you think you are?  If you don’t, check out Lesson 30.  It is important to be prudent and even more important to possess a sense of humility.  It is OK to not have all the answers.  It is OK to admit that you aren’t sure or don’t know.  It is far better to admit the truth than to make an assumption and pay for it later.  Have you ever heard the saying “it is easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission?”  That doesn’t apply very well to relationships.

If you would rather go making assumptions based on incomplete information, that is your call.  You better be ready to handle the consequences.  Maybe you get it right, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.  All that does is embolden you to probably do it again and again.  Eventually you will get it wrong, and you will face the consequences then.  No one is perfect and no one knows everything.  It is so much easier to just ask.

We had a saying in the military, “if you even think you might need to ask, the only safe assumption is to ask.”  We were trained to treat every firearm you handle as if it were loaded.  “There is no such thing as an unloaded firearm,” we used to say.  It was a saying that preached caution when handling anything potentially dangerous.  The danger here is assumption and over-confidence.  Never assume you know everything and never assume you are the smartest person in the room.

In any relationship, it is easy to get tunnel vision.  You see the smiles, hear the laughter, embrace the hugs and kisses, and it becomes easy to believe that both of you are happy.  There is a good chance that, if all of that is occurring, you are probably right.  Everything feels like it is going well.  That is fantastic and I truly hope that is the case.  Ask yourself what the harm is in making sure.  Ask them questions like “are you happy?” or “your happiness means the world to me. What can I do to make you even happier?”  It may sound lame or cheesy, but it isn’t.  It is communication.  Without honest and open communication, failure is inevitable.  Talk.  Keep talking.

1 Comment

  1. There are a few things I’m sure of, but not many, so I tend to say, “I think….” or “I believe…..” before many of my statements. I find it annoying when people present opinions as facts. I’ve known a couple people who seemed so sure about things I believed were incorrect, that I double checked my facts which were correct. Both of these people grew up in rough environments and one worked in a prison. My theory is that they developed these communication styles so as not to be taken advantage of. That theory helped me understand, but I am thankful these people are not in my life anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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