The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

Iceberg– photo courtesy of http://tophat-imc.com/

It’s Saturday morning here in CHItown.  The sun is brightly beaming down onto Lake Michigan, creating quite a glare on the water.  From my perspective, the blue waves are causing the surface of the water to look like billions of sparkly, shiny gems.  Not that I mind, of course.  But this seemingly normal occurrence triggered my mind to recall a recent event that I wanted to share with you.

Back to the luminescent Lake Michigan for a moment.  As I looked out (sporting the sunglasses, mind you) onto the water, I made a number of assumptions.  I assumed the water was moving quickly because I saw waves instead of a smooth surface.  I assumed the sunlight was intermingling with the waves because the water looked like an endless sea of dancing diamonds.

So these assumptions on my part were made based on my perceptions.  But what if  suddenly I was to take a boat (which would be quite lovely, don’t you think?) out onto Lake Michigan and peer down into the water.  The water wouldn’t look blue at all.  The waves would perhaps not seem as pronounced, and the sparkly gems would somewhat lose their luster.  We make a lot of assumptions, don’t we?

Which leads me to my little experience this past week.  While waiting for assistance at my local pharmacy prescription counter, a woman approached and stood behind me for about one minute before she commented, “Um, don’t you think you’d get served faster by going to the front of the store?” She noticed my arms were filled with various items (toothpaste sale; how could I resist?) and assumed she would have to wait longer behind me for my purchases to be completed.  I turned around and said, “I’m picking up a prescription as well.”  Her annoyed demeanor changed as she realized her incorrect assumption that I was only at this counter to purchase a ton of toothpaste and nothing else.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have put my nose in it”, was her response.  And she meant it.  I told her it was perfectly alright, no worries.  It did tweak my brain though, on how many assumptions we make based on our perceptions.  Sometimes we are right; and other times, why, perhaps we should try to think about a situation from various angles before snapping to assumptions.

Assumptions Quote– courtesy of http://www.quotationof.com

What about you, can you think of a time you made an assumption based on your perceptions only to find out later you weren’t on the bulls-eye this time?

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35 thoughts on “Assumptions Based Upon Perceptions = ??

  1. John says:

    It was nice the woman apologized. This has me thinking about driving here in Las Vegas. While not nearly as bad as the Los Angeles area, there are many rude drivers and rude folks in general. My wife and I try to keep in mind that we never know what struggles these people are facing in their lives, hence we should as much as possible allow these rude people to go on with their lives, not bothered by us. Sometimes, the tables are turned and we too are the rude ones. This also promotes better blood pressure and reduced chance of stroke or heart attack! Love your perspectives, things are rarely as they seem…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Huge thank you, John! As I was reading what you wrote I was nodding my head thinking, yes, exactly! It is extremely difficult to keep these things in mind though, isn’t it? And yet, it really does us a disservice if we continually let it get to us. The woman in the pharmacy was annoyed; however, as you said, it was nice that she apologized. And I have to think that maybe she was having a bad day; perhaps she was picking up a prescription for a sick spouse. We never know. Ah bless; thank you, John! Cher xo

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Assumptions are made daily and these perceptions lead us to fights and war and 7 supposed witches were hung in salem because of little girl lies and adult assumption and you are right to look at a situation from different angles. Be well

    Liked by 2 people

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      My dear, you are 100% correct. I agree with what you said. I think the world as we see it is molded on assumptions. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could each change our assumptions based on our perceptions and see one another in a different way? Yes, I recall the story of the lies of those little girls in Salem. My heart sank when I read about this horrific situation. Those adults did assumed the utter worst and their perceptions lead to the demise of these innocent souls. Bless you, my dear; I really appreciate your comments! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your response and kind words. They are much appreciated. Be well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        And to you as well; thank you!! Blessings, Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  3. omtatjuan3 says:

    It’s hard to see the forest thru the trees… I’m learning to see beyond the trees..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Agreed my dear! I feel the same way!! I am trying too! Cher xo

      Like

  4. Mike says:

    Good one, Cher! We need our assumptions to get started in our information saturated world. But, choosing the appropriate ones is critical to success or at least to avoiding embarrassment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you so much, Mike!! I absolutely love what you wrote! We most definitely need our assumptions. But sometimes the everyday human nonsense gets in the way and clouds our perceptions. Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mike says:

        Exactly! In fact, you could perhaps see this as two types of people, one which thinks others are taking advantage of them (cynics) such as the one who jumped to a bad conclusion, and another more optimistic about human beings who assumes that they are logical and anyone in a prescription line must need a prescription. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        The title of your wonderful blog sums your excellent comments up to a tee: “This Got My Attention” 🙂 I couldn’t agree more, Mike! What a terrific way of explaining it! The cynic might never assume the more positive conclusion, while the optimist can’t even fathom someone taking advantage of a situation. 🙂 Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Mike says:

        You’re too kind, dear Cher! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. seaangel4444 says:

        Just being my honest, Canadian self, Mike! 🙂 Cher xo

        Like

  5. Val Boyko says:

    Great post Cher! We make assumptions all the time. Our brain is always filtering the input from our senses. I recall a time when I assumed a colleague who always came late to meetings wasn’t interested in the project we were working on … And then I found out he had difficulties with child care because his wife was sick.
    …. The more we notice our assumptions the more mindful we will hopefully be!
    xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, thank you so much, Val! We really do, don’t we? What an excellent example! I daresay I would have made the same assumption you did. I think we all carry our own ‘invisible knapsack’ of the way in which we perceive our world. If you are someone who appreciates punctuality, the tardy person would be seen as uncaring or disinterested in what others are doing (I am very guilty of making that assumption). And yet, as you said, when we notice these assumptions it can help us be more mindful of other possibilities. Thank you again, Val! Cher xo

      Like

      1. Val Boyko says:

        Just as an FYI – when we start making assumptions about our assumptions it is referred to as The Ladder of Inference. Mindful awareness means that we hopefully notice on the lower rungs of this ladder before we add more stories from our knapsack that takes us further and further away from reality. xo

        Liked by 2 people

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Thank you for that, Val! I absolutely love it! I shall most definitely take my assumptions into account on my own, “Ladder of Inference”. You stated it perfectly. It does indeed take us further and further away from reality and can never be a good thing. Thank you, Val! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Don says:

    I can think of numerous ways in which I have done this Cher. I try to deepen my awareness of this tendency but often fail dismally. But then there are the successes and it feels good when I get it right. An insightful post-thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      I agree with you, Don! I do the exact same thing. When we do have successes it does feel good. I need to be reminded of this, that’s for sure! Thank you so much, Don! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Helen Jones says:

    So very true, Cher – and it’s an easy thing to do. It takes a conscious effort to step back and actually consider, rather than assuming – I’m definitely still working on it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      I am most definitely still working on it too, Helen! Oh yes, you are so right; it does take a conscious effort, doesn’t it? Thank you for your comments my dear! Cher xo

      Like

      1. Helen Jones says:

        You’re very welcome Cher! And thanks to you for your comments too xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Thank you, Helen! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  8. RMW says:

    I think this is one of our survival mechanisms as humans…. to assume things based on previous experiences. As for this particular experience, I pick up prescriptions on a regular basis and on a few occasions have had to wait while a customer paid for their non-prescription items (and no prescription as far as I could see). Once somebody even decided to return and exchange some items at the prescription counter after I had been waiting in line forever… I know they don’t want to discourage customers but some kind of sign would be in order if people are not picking up prescriptions at that counter along with their other purchases! Just a pet peeve (can you tell!!!!!!!)….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your words! I completely understand what you are saying. I think a sign of sorts would be very helpful. That way, those in the line can see that (hopefully) everyone read it, and are picking up a prescription (along with their toothpaste extravaganza) *grin* It’s a pet peeve of mine, too!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent post, I see why Erika Kind nominated you for The Blogger Recognition Award.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Oh Robert, thank you so much for your thoughtful words! I am truly humbled. Thank you! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. tripleclicka says:

    This is my first visit to your blog and I love it! Everything changes with perspective, doesn’t it! I look forward to reading more! Thank you…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Well my dear a huge welcome to you! Thank you so much! That is extremely sweet of you to say! Oh yes, it really does, doesn’t it? I have to remind myself of this every day! Well I look forward to having you read more! You just made my day, dear! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  11. roweeee says:

    Thank you so much for this insightful post. While I* wouldn’t assume that everybody is at the chemist because of something bad, I’d certainly err on that side. We’ve made quite a few trips this past week with severe coughs, asthma etc and spent a fortune, which just adds salt to the wound.
    In terms of assumptions based on perceptions here, we have the situation where my daughter has been accepted for an audition for the Sound of Music musical in Sydney. We have a week to prepare.
    My first assumption was that she wanted the role and would therefore do anything to get the part…including listening to her mother. However, when I mentioned to her that it is a competition, she said that she was just doing it for fun. She didn’t care whether she got the role. I don’t think this is entirely true though.
    She has some troubles with vocal nodules and has been seeing a vocal therapist so the timing of the audition isn’t ideal but she pleaded with me and pointed out that she is the right height for Marta now and she'[ll never be that height ever again, so I bowed in.
    To help her learn the songs without wearing out her voice, I thought we could play the songs on the keyboard. However, she soon started to fight back and it was hell trying to get her to realise that it would help her performance and it would also spare her voice. I was all but standing on my head trying to get through to her and I think I did make some impact because I did hear her practicing later on.
    I can’t blame her though because I’m sure I was much the same at her age. Knew it all!
    xx Rowena

    Like

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much for your comments, Rowena! It is interesting how assumptions are sometimes correct, and at others times not so much. Perhaps your daughter was not wanting to put too much emphasis on whether or not she got the role but truly wanted it as you said. As for the chemist, why, I can completely understand that going back and forth because of coughs, asthma, etc. would make you hope that people were only in line for medicine!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Something I will continue to explore and have written about for the next post. I appreciate the thoughtful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Ah, thank you so much, my dear! That is wonderful to hear! I know I am constantly having to ensure I don’t make assumptions. I think we all do, but I sure am trying to be more mindful. Cher xo

      Like

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