Nobody’s (De)Fault

It’s amazing what can happen when you change around what you consider to be “default assumptions.”

Are things forbidden unless permitted, or permitted unless forbidden? If you invite multiple people to something, do you assume people are coming unless they say they aren’t, or that they aren’t coming unless they say they are?

It’s amazing how much can be miscommunicated simply because the default assumptions are different. They’re so big they’re invisible. They rule your life, but you don’t even realize it – and you really don’t realize it when you don’t share them with someone else.

They also affect the message you want to send. Telling a child that they aren’t allowed to touch anything unless it’s a designated “toy” that’s been assigned to them creates a very different environment than one where the only things they can’t touch are the things they’ve been told not to, like a knife or stove.

Your mileage may vary, of course. But examine your defaults, especially when they run into someone else’s and conflict occurs. That’s a great moment of enlightenment.

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