“Why can’t you just take out the trash without me having to remind you three times?” “I wish you would use a hand towel to dry the dishes as opposed to leaving them out to air dry.” “You said you vacuumed, but I still see dirt on the carpet.” “You need to cook dinner for the kids, not bring in take-out!” These are just some examples of the kinds of things we say to our loved ones every day. We know they are doing their best, but we just can’t help being irritated and stepping in to show them the “right” way to do things. And we just can’t understand their reactions to our good intentions to facilitate their performance-improvement. Why would they get so defensive and angry?
People make assumptions all the time. We assume we heard someone correctly; we assume we understand exactly what they meant; we assume that it is all about us, all about them, etc. Communication blunders can be attributed to one thing. Our assumptions.