LESS GUESSING

The fake hug.

The long waits for a return text….or no response at all.

The last minute “Sorry, something’s come up.” calls, far too often.

The empty statements and promises.

The “We should get together, I’ll call you.” that never happens.

Or the “nothing happens unless YOU make it happen.”

Sure, we all become distracted and forgetful. We’re all busy. Overextended, with unending responsibilities. That seems to be the new normal. Things do come up and we all sometimes seem far away right in front of each other. That’s just life.

But somehow, this is different, this interaction is different.

And then you begin to question things.

Your senses don’t lie. You can feel it. That creepy sensation like something is off with the communication, or relationship. You just know there’s something not quite right.  You know it. You just can’t figure out what it is, or why.

And then you begin to analyze.

“Wow, that was a cold shoulder—what changed? Did I do something wrong?  What did I do wrong?  Let me think….
Why aren’t they responding, they just don’t agree with my idea? Did I forget something?
Why are they cancelling now? Our plans! Was I just a last resort? Something better came up?
Why are they offering this if they don’t really mean it?
Why are they saying this if they don’t really mean it?
Have I done something? Said something?  What could it be?”

 

Surely it’s got something to do with something you said or did. Doesn’t it?

And then you begin to feel bad.

Been there?

Yeah, we all have, but hopefully not too often. We all read into things at some point with someone.  It’s basically a conditioning of our brains; the need to know, the need to solve, the need to be right, the need to provide the answers.

The need to stay out of the unknown and maintain control.

It seems to me, when we don’t have a strong, sense of self, and healthy, regular exchange of communication with someone who we care about or whose opinion we highly value, we might internally translate that into somehow being judged unworthy, or unimportant to that person. Our own expectations about what we envision a good relationship ‘should’ possess, causes us to knee jerk react.  When we feel like we’ve been slighted, or ignored, we may feel indignant and offended; our ‘self-talk’ recoiling with a firm “fine, be that way then!”, and we storm out of the sandbox.   Or, maybe we melt into a self-shaming panic, inventing any number of unfounded potential reasons of why we did something to ‘cause’ this ‘situation’ in the sandbox.

Basically, we seem to have a need to make up a script, or story in our minds to explain it all. Then maybe we can rationalize the situation away and protect ourselves from feelings of hurt, anger, or disappointment. Perhaps in doing so, redirecting those feelings onto the other person instead, all in an effort to justify why we deserve to be hurt or angry, or to avoid them.

What an enormous amount of energy and stress all that story writing entails! Especially if there ISN’T actually a situation in the sandbox!

Yeah I’ve been known to allow myself to invent stories a time or two. Thankfully I’ve been pretty darn lucky to know many awesome human beings who are able to maintain a healthy shared relationship. So those instances where I might start creating a story in my mind about why so-and so did (or didn’t) do something–shaking my confidence in them or us– have been few and far between.  Why?  Because I finally decided to participate in LESS GUESSING as to why others behave the way they do.

That said, Less Guessing didn’t happen overnight. As I continued my journey to embrace LESS a couple years ago, I decided I wouldn’t allow space for even the occasional guessing situation to occur. I simply got tired of being let down.  I drew a hard line in the sandbox to protect my heart and my giving nature.

Well, that STILL amounted to a heck of a lot of work to manage. I seemed to be evaluating people’s intentions MORE, not LESS!

Then, one day, while talking with a good friend, we happened to share a couple particularly frustrating “stories” with each other. While it was good to discover we both had similar experiences, it’s wasn’t so good to discover the amount of energy we had spent trying to make sense of what we perceived as truly hurtful treatment by “friends”.

We examined our predicaments for hours.

“Well you could just come right out and ask what the heck is going on. Maybe you get the truth. Maybe not.”

The bottom line was, if it was a healthy relationship, THIS stuff shouldn’t even be a part of it, RIGHT? At least, one would think. Yup, we were still trying to somehow rationalize and control.

Why did we feel we need to have, and know, a reason why, and if we don’t get one, need to invent one?

We concluded it was about ego. No one wants to feel like somehow they are being judged unworthy, or unimportant, especially by someone who they value.

Then came the realization. Story writing and attempts to rationalize is a complete, utter waste of time.  To truly embrace LESS, one must let go of ego, and simplify to the core. Push the darn ego aside and realize that not everything is about us. In fact, most things never are.  “All you need is LESS!”  The truth is, not everyone communicates the same way, looks at things the same way, or behaves the same way as we do.  That’s okay! There may be absolutely no ill intent intended, it may just be the way a person is.  Or the opposite could be true.  Either way, the healthiest thing we can do is stop trying to guess what’s in someone else’s head.  We needed to spend much LESS time figuring out what causes people to do crappy things for whatever reason they do them.

  • It’s not our job.
  • It’s not our business.
  • It’s not our place.
  • And most importantly, take to heart it’s not about us, ever.
  • It’s all about them.

We came to the sandbox with open heart, and honest intentions. For whatever reason, apparently they didn’t. Oh well.  That is all we are graced with knowing, unless the other person chooses to be up front and share more.

Our time and energy is much better spent on positive, creative, exciting dreams, ideas, plans and people who share those ideals. We have no right to know what others think. They have no obligation to tell us. Once I let go of that expectation, I felt like a huge storm cloud had been lifted.  I finally achieved the joy of Less Guessing!

“Belief is a preconception about the way reality should be;

Faith is the willingness to experience reality as it is, including the acceptance of the unknown.”

–Judith Hanson Lasater—

The key to Less Guessing? Stop believing people should act a certain way.  Start having faith. Be present in the moment.  Nurture and follow your own path regardless of your surroundings.  Notice how you feel in your relationships, honor those feelings, and make gentle adjustments as needed without judgment or opinion. The rest will unfold the way it’s going to unfold. Live and let live. Focus on the good that is right in front of you.  That, my friends, requires no guessing.

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

 

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