Baffled by Others’ Choices? You HAVE to Consider that They Can’t Read Your Mind

This past week, I left a note for my handyperson requesting that he install glass shelves in my bathroom. When I returned home, I found them positioned as above…..

Between you and me, my mind was blown. Why would I want to look at the reflection of my deodorant in the bathroom mirror?? Why???

Now it seems he had a very good reason for his decision to place the shelves where he did—he was worried that if they were any lower I would have to bend my wrist to turn on the water.

This is a sacrifice I am willing to make.

What this did, however, was to remind me of the importance of articulating my thought process – particularly if I notice myself thinking anything along the lines of:

  • “Oh, but of course X will know what’s needed….”
  • “It’s intuitive…anyone would know.”
  • “No need to spell that out… 

Why don’t we?

  • Sometimes we do it because we don’t want to insult people by being ‘too literal’.
  • Sometimes we do it because it simply never crosses our mind that someone would not value the same things we do.
  • Sometimes we do it because we forget that others may have reasons that may be just as valid as our own for making the choices that they make.

What I know is that assigning motivation/blame in these situations is not useful.

When something like this occurs, the fastest, easiest way to handle it is to take the onus for the misunderstanding on yourself—which is where it belongs– and move on.