How we interpret a situation, and the conclusions we draw are not always accurate. This is humorously depicted in some of the funniest sitcoms where continuous misunderstandings are creating constant confusion between the characters.
For instance, in watching the show Modern Family the other night, one of the characters, Mitchell, was holding hands with a supposedly comatose grandmother, when suddenly she grabs his hair, and he yells out “Let go!”
The rest of the family didn’t see the hair grabbing incident, but heard Mitchell yelling for the grandmother to let go, and concluded he meant letting go of her life, and not his hair.
Until he was able to explain what happened, the family was very upset with him based on their interpretation of the situation. Though funny on a TV show, it can be less humorous in our own lives when confusions occur, and our behavior or words are misconstrued.
I remember years ago giving a talk about the dynamics of my first marriage to a group exploring relationship issues. I was telling them that my relationship was like the one demonstrated in the old television show Moonlighting, with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.
The characters on the show used to bicker with each other a lot, and that’s how my partner and I communicated with each other much of the time.
Some years later, I ran into a woman who had attended that group, and in our conversation it became clear that she thought I’d been comparing my physical appearance to Cybill Shepherd, rather than comparing my relationship to the one between the program’s characters.
She ultimately admitted that her interpretation of my talk was that I had been bragging about my looks, and how negatively that impacted her feelings about me.
Good reminder to not jump to conclusions, and let go of our certainty that we understand a situation fully when perhaps we don’t have all the facts.
Are you able to resist jumping to conclusions, and consider other possible explanations for what occurs?