It happens this way …
At the beginning of his discussion of the third agreement, Don Miguel Ruiz lays it out:
We have a tendency to make assumptions about everything. The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth. We could swear they are real. We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking – we take it personally – then we blame them … . That is why whenever we make assumptions, we’re asking for problems. We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama from nothing.
How many times have I assumed someone wouldn’t want to do what I would love to invite them to do, or travel somewhere with me, or contribute to a project I was involved in? I made those assumptions not based on their truth, but on my own hesitancy to ask and be told “no.” So rather than risk rejection or the appearance of being pushy, I never gave them the opportunity to say “yes.” What a limiting way to live!
Ruiz discusses the third agreement mostly in terms of personal relationships with our significant others. They’re supposed to know what we need, when we need it, how we need it, right? Of course that never works. What would happen if we had the courage to “avoid misunderstanding, sadness, and drama” by being honest? I think I’ll add “Ask for what I need” to my note on the refrigerator – all week my significant other kept reminding “Don’t take things personally.” This week I’ll remind her not to take it personally when I do the asking.