100 Days of Journal Prompts: Day 8

Each day, laptop and children permitting, I’ll share a prompt that’s been on my mind, and a few of my thoughts.

You are welcome to share your own perspective in the comments, or just journal it out!

What assumptions have other people made about me? What assumptions have I made about others?

Yesterday, I told Joe, “I don’t judge people for wearing or not wearing a mask. What happens is, whether they are wearing a mask or not, I decide that that means something about me. Then, I judge them for judging me!”

It’s not just with masks either. I constantly assume people have an opinion about me. And, I act a certain way toward them depending on what I think that opinion is.

I’m not trying to get political today, but what I would love to do, and what feels so needed right now, is to start checking my assumptions.

Because, how ridiculous is it that I judge others for the story that I tell myself about them?

So, here goes.

Assumptions Others Have Made About Me…

  • I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and sometimes people assume I think the woman’s place is in the home. I’m grateful for a husband who feels, like I do, that parenting is a true partnership. And, I did work outside of the home with my first. Sometimes, I miss it!
  • Because of my faith, people assume I’m a Republican. Because of my skin color, people assume I’m a Democrat. Truthfully, I fall on both “sides” depending on the issue. I just try to vote according to my values.
  • Because of my weight, I always surprise people with my degree in Exercise Science. I love exercise, and I love the body! I know a lot about how it works.

Assumptions I’ve Made About Others…

  • Once, I assumed that someone felt a certain way about immigration, because of their ethnicity. I’m still embarrassed about that.
  • We have friends that I assume don’t want to be friends, because they don’t reciprocate our attempts to get together. It may or may not be true, but Joe doesn’t make the same assumption and has a closer relationship with them. Super interesting.
  • Sometimes I assume my toddlers have adult logic. It always bites me in the butt πŸ˜‚.

Your turn. You don’t have to say it out loud, but it’s refreshing to be honest with myself about the things that are just in my head. Even if I’m still working on changing some of those thoughts.

❀ Jenny

11 thoughts on “100 Days of Journal Prompts: Day 8

  1. I’m sure I have a lot of more serious examples, but here is one that comes to mind, and it happened in 2004 so I know I’m not going to tell it in DLTDGB eventually. But I’m going to use my usual pseudonyms from the DLTDGBverse.

    In the early 2000s, I was kind of becoming cynical about evangelical Christian culture (not Christianity itself, or the Bible, just the way that culture manifested itself in the US in the early 2000s). I attended a large Christian music festival that used to be held every year back home in Santa Lucia County. A few bands I really liked were going to be there, and someone I knew (Brent Wang’s girlfriend, now wife; I introduced Brent in a recent episode of DLTDGB, but the girlfriend in question was much younger than us and I did not meet her until 2003) had connections with Spirit West Coast and got me and a few of our other friends set up to volunteer, where we could get free admission for doing ushering and crowd control and the like for a couple hours each day.

    I was planning out what bands I wanted to see, and I noticed that Bethany Dillon and Building 429 were sharing an hour-long time slot, since both of them were new artists at the time and did not have full sets to play. I had just heard Building 429 for the first time a few days earlier, and I knew exactly one song by Bethany Dillon (“Beautiful,” https://youtu.be/_gKXpEzgmvI), so I penciled that in as a show I wanted to see.

    So I get there, I’m waiting for the show to start. Bethany is going on first. I know nothing about her beyond that one song. No idea what she looks like, where she is from, anything like that, just that one song. It’s a good song, but my cynical attitude toward evangelical Christian culture and its flaws at the time colored my imagination of who this person was behind the microphone. I pictured some perfectly made-up twentysomething pop star with perfect hair and perfect skin and perfect clothes who would get up there and go through some canned speech about purity and virginity while standing there looking way more attractive than any Christian woman who would ever give a guy like me the time of day.

    A bunch of teen girls were sitting up next to the stage, far from me. Probably some church youth group. I heard a commotion coming from that direction, and I saw a somewhat plain and ordinary (but not in a negative way) looking teen girl get up on the stage. I just rolled my eyes. Silly youth group kids. Now one of them is going to pretend to be a performer. The girl who got up on stage said, in a somewhat quiet and unpretentious voice, “Hi, I’m Bethany, and I’m going to sing some songs for you.” The other youth group girls cheered wildly. I’m just sitting there giggling at whatever these silly girls are doing, wondering why there was no security to stop this one from getting up on stage pretending to be Bethany.

    Then the girl up on stage pulls out a guitar and starts singing, and I realize what’s going on.

    Holy crap.

    Bethany Dillon is only 15. She’s not pretentious or pop-star glamorous at all. And she’s really, really good.

    So… yeah… I learned that the assumptions I can form in my head about someone can often be very wrong.

    (I followed Bethany’s career through the early 2010s, but I have no idea what she’s doing now. I haven’t followed Christian music in general as much over the last decade. And I also have another cool story about an even bigger rock star acting very unpretentious that just happened this year, but I’ll save that for another time since it doesn’t really involve making assumptions…. well, it kind of does, but still, I can tell that story later.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So fun to hear your thoughts in the form of a bonus story! For some reason it has me thinking of LOTR. “Sometimes, the most unlikeliest of creatures…” We all have surprising qualities in us. And I can’t wait to check out the video of her singing that you shared 😊.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Some people assume that I’m gay (because of the way I look, talk, walk…I don’t know exactly), and some people assume that I’m straight (because I grew up in a conservative household, went to church all my life, etc). I try not to assume anything or use stereotypes, but I know I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep, assumptions can be harmful. The ladder of inference is a powerful concept that shows how we jump to conclusions based on our assumptions and then form whole belief systems about groups of people or the world that may be very flawed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! That’s what blew my mind when I realized it. I had created a whole belief system about the people around me based on my thoughts, not necessarily based on the truth.


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