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Assumptions and First Impressions

November 24, 2014

The previous post, “Put Both Feet Forward”, said to be aware that first impressions matter for ourselves.  While we should be aware, we should also recognize that it is wrong for us to join the crowd and quickly form opinions of others based on first impressions.  Here’s why:

All of us, and some more than others, and some more sometimes, think and act as though we are trained psychotherapists and or detectives.  The truth of course is that must of us are not.  That we are not partially explains why it’s wrong to so quickly analyze others and hence why we are so often wrong in our conclusions.  Coming to those wrong conclusions often leads to a quick conclusion of any kind of relationship.

“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler

We assume. We make assumptions based on little or biased information. We make judgments and decisions about what someone said or did, or didn’t say or do, or how they did or didn’t do it or say it.

Our assumptions are also formed through the prism of how we see things, from our perspective, from our life experience.  We don’t allow for the possibility that different people with different life experiences, or strengths and weaknesses may perform differently.  By being open to another’s approach you may learn something that further enables you to climb your mountain.

Then we are wrong for sharing our conclusions with others about others.

Instead of assuming we should  first get more information, including or particularly about ourselves. There is a teaching of the Baal Shem Tov, that when you see something in another that you don’t like, you are to see that person as though you were looking at your own reflection in a pool of water.

Then you can share your conclusions if it passes what Socrates called the “Triple Filter Test”.

“Many people love falsehood. Few love the truth. Because falsehood can be loved truly, but truth cannot be loved falsely.” — Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak of Peshischa

 Heart and Soul







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