Seeing Beyond Your Assumptive Urge: Decreasing ‘Perspective’ Gap

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Within our relationships, we’re required to maintain a certain level of understanding with our partners, and typically we do so through effective communication.

Let’s face it: life can be categorically boiled down to series of good and bad moments; like most, including myself, you probably have a tendency to define some aspects of your life on this scale: worse, terrible, okay, acceptable, better, best, extremely optimal—serving only as an example.

It’s your attitude regarding your life’s circumstances that dictates which label—good, bad or otherwise—you choose, so it is also reasonable for me to conclude you know of your tendency to circumnavigate your understandings by taking mental shortcuts, right?

In our most natural human state, it’s almost nature to take such mental shortcuts to understanding: ones involving grouping our situational understandings into old frameworks we learned in our past.

Know, or Assume?

You, like me, may not have the patience to wait for results.

The associations you make may not all be based on the facts, but, rather, an interpretation of them. You conclude some of your understandings in the same way you’d with an image that’s appearing before you in a connect-the-dots -type photo as you fill in the lines: by filling in the gaps with your best mental guess of the possible answers when you don’t know or have all the available specifics. 

Your understandings are capable of being mostly true or completely false, and this may be one of your greatest interpersonal downfalls if you experience frequent miscommunication within your relationships or experience a great deal of daily stress in related areas of your life: you’re likely attempting to actively interpret more of a situation than what’s actually being presented in-the-moment. Even though this isn’t always such a bad thing to do, most of our usual suffering comes from our resistance toward being okay with what-is, and mis-identifying what’s happening in our lives is an easy way to give ourselves a hard time, especially since many of us are focused on maintaining a certain level of harmony within our relationships.

Your Life, And The Gestalt Principle

Gestalt is a German term that literally translates, “unified whole.” The Gestalt Principle describes our natural human tendency to form order out of chaos; when we desire to make sense of our sensual perceptions before we completely understand them: we guess.

Phenomenal engineers and inventors find new solutions to their problems by breaking their world down into essential parts; and, then by reassembling their subjects into new descriptions of each parts’ purpose, they take those meanings to interconnect new associations to their subjects that, to the outside world, seem utterly unique and magical. What’s left is a new ideological perspective or use for a physical object.

Practice: Core Understanding

Most of us aren’t frequently looking at our ‘core’ surroundings, but perhaps we should!

Usually, it’s after times when we make dramatic assumptions about our lives that we’re most capable of making ourselves miserable. In fact, I’m sure you know of at least one person who constantly misinterprets the situation when you’re around each other and worries constantly about the fabricated stories they’re telling themselves: you know, those ones about the possibilities of what could or could not be happening for them?

How many times have you seen this, typically, working out in their favor?

How can they turn this around?

Instructions: Overcoming Natural Assumptive Urges

Pause to reflect: multiple times daily.

Nowhere in a how-to-be-a-human handbook does it officially state that you should always live in a heightened state of arousal; yet, you’re prone to be already living like this since it’s also likely that many of the people you know live by this lifestyle in some sort of coffee motto. Whether you know of its validity, it’s your elongation of those heightened states that stresses you out most each day, and the people sustaining these ‘lifestyles’ are killed by the hundreds of thousands each year because they’re putting themselves through such voluntary emotional duress.

Consider slowing things down for yourself.

When people go on vacation, they tend to see more serendipity and harmony in their worlds because they’ve disengaged from worrying about their personal lives or professions. You can give yourself a mental vacation any time you wish by pausing periodically throughout the day for a few seconds to simply recognize your surroundings: focus on the beautiful little things; feel the air drafts on your skin; notice your fingertips; and, turn your attention to the thoughts of something you love. You can be mindful of one or several of these items; and, creating your own list is much more powerful!

Each moment, you have an opportunity to take a mental break and figuratively step back from your circumstances.

Recognize those places where you’re making assumptions about the facts. Which of your goals are you pursuing? What do you see as the essence of one goal? What exactly are you doing, non-exactly?

In my experience with this exercise, you’ll probably have times when you burst out laughing because, sometimes, when you discover that the things you find to be important are actually outright ridiculous when looked at in a different light, your rationalizations become humorous.

Pausing multiple times throughout the day to recollect your thoughts and center your energy is a habit and commitment to live more harmoniously within your world; after all is said and done, you’ll have a deeper impact when it counts, and people will feel more into your true presence when you’ve committed to noticing what most people ignore.