It’s natural to assume something of someone. When you meet someone new, you tend to make images of them in your head, which could be based on a lot of external characteristics – or simply based on spontaneous assumptions in your head. Unless you are Sherlock, chances are that your assumptions are wrong.
I myself have made wrong assumptions about people so many times that I have stopped assuming things of people. It helps me keep an open mind when knowing people. And almost always, I find myself (positively) surprised too. Of course, my mind gives me ideas about folks, but I try not to metamorphose them into assumptions, and keep them with myself.
Now when I have assumed things about others, it is only natural to admit that folks have made assumptions about me.
The most common one that comes to my mind is that I am vegetarian or vegan. And that I do not eat beef. Well, the folks that know me would know that it could not be farther from the reality. 😉 I am an omnivore in the truest sense of the word, and a foodie too. I used to handle the F&B Beat in my tenure as a journalist and I enjoy every dish – especially beef. Yup, I have no beef with beef. 😋
When I was in school and college, people assumed that I was a studious kid that was I very academically inclined. They probably attributed it to my geek-like apprarance. To be honest, this has gotten me some brownie points too. But the stark reality was that I was just as average as the nearest kid. Or rather, if I’m being brutally honest with you, I was a below average kid. I routinely surprised people around me by scoring low marks for exams when they expected me to top the class. It was fun, in a way. 😬
The other common assumption about me is that I toe the line of established traditions in my culture. Well, sorry to break that bubble, but I happen to be a certified misfit. To quote some examples:
- I am one half of a childfree couple – yep, I don’t plan to have kids. Like ever. 🤷♂️
- I quit a “cozy” government bank job to work in a private company, which is sacrilege in India.
- I chose to work remotely, and have been doing so for over five years. People never figured out remote work, until the pandemic started.
- I try to keep my outlook and thoughts as progressive as possible. I believe in the core values of equality and secularism. My politics are largely left-leaning. However, I strongly acknowledge and espouse the value of free enterprise. Just this set of beliefs are making me a pariah in many circles.
- I am sometimes vocal about certain established traditions in the Indian society, which not a lot of folks are fond of.
The list goes on…
If there’s one thing I have learned from my own experiences with assumptions, it is that if you assume something of someone, be prepared to be proven wrong about them.
This post was written as part of the Bloganuary challenge of WordPress.com. Bloganuary is a month-long challenge, where bloggers are challenged to write a new blog post every day, based on a daily writing prompt. You will need a WordPress.com account to get the prompts, but you can blog on any platform of your choice – OR even journal privately. Oh btw, there is no bloganuary police – so you can pick your own prompts if you wish to!