“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”
The quality of relationships are built upon such attributes as honesty, mutual respect, and trust. These qualities or guidelines create a foundation that affords these relationships to grow and flourish. They are like the framework of the house made out of wood that must go up first as it serves as the skeleton which gives it its support and shape. Without that framework there would be no house. For the attributes of relationships it is the same thing. Without its attributes there are no healthy relationships.
As we all know termites are infamous for destroying many houses and other structures due to the damage they cause to things made out of wood. I know this all too well because they destroyed the lanai of our home only a few years in to us being homeowners. It was an awful experience.
In today’s quote Henry Winkler says that assumptions are the termites of relationships. He cannot be more right. Assumptions are when we think something is true even without proof. It is based on no facts, only theory and either ours or someone else’s judgement. One classic example of this has been that anyone that wears glasses is a nerd. Again, I wore glasses in middle school and was teased as being a nerd even before some kids had a chance to get to know me. They just assumed that I was a brainiac and all I was was about academics, which was not true. I was left out of a lot things because of it. Other assumptions are but not limited to: people don’t change, since we are in love this will be easy and one that I have made the mistake in saying, “I know how you feel.” The last one is often used by many when we are trying to console someone that may have lost a family member. This statement is meant to mean well but no one experiences loss in exactly the same way as someone else. For example, I did suffer a loss when my Dad passed away but just because I experienced this, my experience is completely different than someone else’s in more ways than on. Now when someone suffers a loss, I refrain from making that statement and instead, just offer my support.
So assumptions affect that framework of relationships. They weaken the structure because they serve as those termites that are eating away at honesty, mutual respect, and trust. When we put together a protection plan like we do for our homes in making sure termites do not destroy it, when need to make sure we have a protection plan for our relationships. This might be having an open conversation with those that you have relationships to decide on those preventive measures of what things you agree upon as to what are the do’s and don’ts will be. It is necessary to be proactive instead of reactive because if you are already in the reactive mode, that means, like when you first discover a swarm of termites in an area of house, your relationship like your house has already been compromised.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your relationship skills?