Over the last week or so, I have been unwell with very little voice. As a result, I have engaged less in conversation and responses have been more deliberate and reflective. What has become apparent is that others seem quick to judge and assume what I am thinking or feeling when I converse less. This, in turn, has led me to consider my usual mode of operation.
Usually, I am a person who thinks fast, in a detailed manner, and on multiple tangents simultaneously jumping from one idea to another in a solution focussed way. I analyse responses fast, and as a consequence, often find myself changing my opinion mid-sentence and based on the ongoing discussion. I find this a very effective way of clarifying my own decisions and thoughts in the moment. However, this relies on others being able to follow, interpret and understand my thought processes.
The assumption I traditionally made is that others can follow my tangents and thoughts. However, a colleague reminded me today that not everyone could follow my thinking, which led me to consider the impact that my way of being has on those around me.
When making important decisions, I choose to discuss my thought processes with a person that I trust. Doing this assists me to clarify my thoughts and stops me from rushing into any decision. I highly value this debate and usually use it to augment the choice I ultimately make.
Today, after my colleague suggested others can not always keep up with my thinking, I began to wonder how others interpreted my thought processes and discussion. For example, the need to discuss decisions could be, as intended, looking to clarify thoughts; however, it could also be interpreted as being unsure or not confident.
What this made me remember is just how much humans make assumptions about others without fully understanding the context. Not all assumptions are negative; to the contrary, our assumptions can also have a positive effect. The critical point here is not to stop our assumptions and judgements, but to consider how we evaluate and process these to interact with the world around us.