05 January 2010

The Four Agreements :

Agreement Three:
Don’t make assumptions
At the end of this instruction, you will be able to:
• List ways to avoid making assumptions
• Understand the “ABCs” of emotions
• Identify ways to calm an angry person
The ABC’s of emotion tell us about how and why we make internal assumptions. First, there is an
Activating event that helps us set up an assumption. Then, we establish a Belief system. This belief
may be either rational (based upon observable, factual data) or irrational (not based upon facts).
Finally, we develop a Consequential emotion that is triggered by our belief. It is important to
recognize when an irrational belief could be beneficially changed to a rational one.
We tend to make assumptions about conflict, namely that all conflict is bad and should be avoided.
However, while some might view conflict as a contest to win and something to avoid, conflict is
often times a good way to explore other points of view and to discover opportunities to grow.
We create drama by making assumptions, by taking it personally, and by gossiping about our
assumptions. We perpetuate this by not asking for clarification, defending our assumptions, and
trying to make someone else wrong based on our assumptions.
To avoid making assumptions, it is important to gather more facts about the situation and about our
own beliefs. It is also important to gain knowledge about the facts, about how others perceive the
situation, and about your own beliefs.
To calm an angry person you can:
Stop talking and give your attention
Acknowledge feelings
Seek additional information
Don’t assume
Restate your understanding of the
State areas where there is agreement
Brainstorm a “preferred future”
Identify all the possible solutions
Agree on next steps