We all have the tendency jump to conclusions – in all kinds of situations. Too often, we assume the worst, usually reflecting badly on ourselves. If someone doesn’t return our email or phone call, we figure the person doesn’t want to communicate with us. What a leap! That could even snowball into a giant story (e.g., he doesn’t like me, I must be a lousy person, etc.). Nearly every time I’ve gone down this rabbit trail, I have been wrong.
My worst example of this was many years ago with my stock broker. I called him on a Monday to trade some stocks but he didn’t call me back. Nor did he call on Tuesday. When I called again, no response. I couldn’t believe it! Stockbrokers have to be prompt and responsive as lots of money is potentially at stake. Finally, this guy called me the following Monday and began to apologize. I interrupted him and let him have it! Finally, when I took a breath, he said, “I’m so sorry, Mike, but my wife died last week.” Whoa! I felt like a complete jerk! What if I had assumed that something unexpected had happened and given him the benefit of the doubt. This a great lesson for us all going forward. Don’t jump to conclusions.