This week has been full of assumptions. The word “assumption” and “assume” have come up in fact so many times that I just have no choice but to write something about it, in the assumption of course that someone may read it.
Firstly I had to change programming for a TV recording of Marbella Now. I assumed the person who booked in a certain guest would then let them know that the date had changed; she assumed that I had done it. Both of us did however feel really bad for letting someone down because we had assumed what the other would do. (Assuming my guest is reading this please accept my sincere apologies).
My dear Swedish friend was the next to talk about assumptions. She had assumed that she’d have no problem in renting out her apartment in Stockholm, as they are always very much in demand. As it turned out the Swedes in general had been under the assumption that the property market was booming and purchased new homes before selling the one they lived in. All assumptions couldn’t have been further from the truth. When the homeowners couldn’t sell their homes the banks insisted they rent out their properties, literally saturating the local rental market at under market value. (My friend is still renting if you’re looking!).
How many problems can we make for ourselves by putting words, thoughts and theoretical actions onto someone else, based only on our opinions and feelings? And then judge them for it? Living in Marbella with so many different nationalities in close contact we really need to remember this. Our upbringings and characters are so different that if we assume anything we are more than likely to be wrong. With this Swedish friend I mentioned I sometimes feel quite offended when really she’s just explaining what she thinks. When we’re face to face it’s not so bad but when we wassap and assume which tone of voice the other is writing in, it’s amazing we’re still friends at all with all the assumptions we both make; me based on my English upbringing and “humour” and her with her “Viking” personality (Viking meant without offence – again English humour…. or not).
It’s too easy to fall “victim” to assumptions as I did with a short but nasty private Facebook message. I assume the sender was irritated as they told me not to bother replying if it was that much effort as he assumed that as I’d read it I could also have taken the time to respond. I had not invited anyone to message me privately nor had I expected a message from someone I don’t know, nor did I have my ‘phone with me that day. In this instance I did wonder if his nationality might have something to do with his attitude; I’m not so proud to say that I know that a hint of English sarcasm went with my reply.
Perhaps none of us can stop assuming things but perhaps we can start assuming with a positive attitude, assuming only the good, giving the benefit of the doubt; assuming that is that we’re all innocent until proven guilty.
This article was first published in the Euro Weekly News