If You Assume, You Better Be Right
In injury cases, we often hear that the injured party thought someone was going to stop at the light. Or they assume they were going to go ahead and take a left turn. The pedestrian assumes the car sees him in the crosswalk.
Assumptions are dangerous when they turn out to be wrong. They are harmless and not even noticed when right or when they don’t seem to matter. But, I see the results of wrong assumptions constantly, and I bet you will too after thinking through it with me.
For instance, a hurting friend who assumes that you have a perfect life without any trouble, is unlikely to receive any advice or counsel from you. You may never know the reason why.
A luxury car dealership doesn’t even wait on the man who comes in with Khaki work clothes, assuring him to be broke, not understanding he’s one of the richest men in all the state.
Something assumed about me 23 years ago comes to mind. At that time, I lived in Munford and drove into Bellevue for church every Sunday. I would stop at the office where I then worked, and print out a hard copy of the Sunday school lesson I was going to teach before I went to church. My truck was probably only there for 10 minutes doing that. But in a conversation, I later found out that a girl said I was the most dedicated lawyer in the world because I worked every Sunday morning!
I was taken aback. Not only do I not work on Sunday mornings, I’ve been active in church my adult life. But it turns out that on her way to church she happened to drive past my office every Sunday at that same time. She assumed I was spending hours there every Sunday. She did not know that I had taught a Sunday school class every Sunday morning to young married adults for almost a decade.
Assumptions come into play more than what we realize. And it creates bias and even sometimes prejudice. It’s probably good to question assumptions and determine what is known, versus what is assumed.
Beautiful girls are assumed to have lots of dates and many boys therefore do not even ask them out. (They probably want you to know that a lot of guys are scared to ask beautiful girls out, so you might as well try.)
Some important people in New York seem to view most of America as “flyover country” and often assume everyone is uneducated bumpkins and rednecks.
A related issue of assumptions is “mind reading “. You hear it more than you realize if you listen for it. When someone says well “she doesn’t care “. That may be true, but more than likely it’s not known. What may be known as what was said or what was done and it may be a correct assumption. But think of how many times you hear these statements made like:
“She thinks she’s too good for me. “
“My dad wouldn’t understand. “
“All he cares about is money.”
“My boss wouldn’t listen anyway.”
“He thinks I’m crazy. “
These things may or may not be true, but you will find that just as people are not great at reading your mind, we are not great at reading other people’s mind.
So, if we focus on the actions, and do not assume we know all the motivations behind someone’s actions, we become curious rather than potentially just judgmental.
Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in truck, motorcycle, and car crashes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.
Mr. Peel and his staff are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. The environment was inviting and not intimidating in the least. They make you feel like they truly care about you and your case. Mr. Peel answered any questions I had without making me feel like a burden or a dummy. I would definitely recommend him for your personal injury law needs.