Assuming things and accepting things, without any given proof, can be quite critical and damaging for the person on the receiving end of the assumption. Assumptions can make people give up hope, can form anxiety for the person and can really damage a person to the point they will give up on explaining their side of the story as they know they wont be heard. Only the strongest and resilient people suffering can move on from assumptions. We all have assumptions for different reasons. I also think there is a right way of handling assumptions, and a way to help the person on the receiving end move forward from an assumption.
An assumption can come from different perspectives and experiences people may experience together. Assumptions can also be formed from 'word of mouth', and then the person who is viewed as the person who was 'wrong', is the one who is going to suffer the repercussions of assumptions. When a group of people from a small social setting assumes something of a person they have met once, or through other people, it can be very damaging. It can make someone feel like they aren't worthy of sharing their perspective and understanding of something, and then it can cause them to over think a situation. It can make them become ashamed of going to things that these people who have made up their mind about someone without getting to know them first are attending, and can make someone question their own self worth.
For me personally, I tend to not let what people think of me get to me. I have in my past been ashamed of who I am and behaviours I have displayed when I have been triggered/had an episode. People have made me feel ashamed about my illness before, due to assumptions and not having the capability to understand, or want to understand about my illness. I have never used my illness as an excuse, as I don't believe you have to excuse your symptoms of your illness, as no one else excuses their pain and suffering they are enduring. I will at the time not be capable of my rational mind, or be able to display the behaviours people wish I could display when I am extremely hurt or upset. i let that define me in the past, and I let them assume. I now challenge people's thinking by sticking up for my morals, beliefs and values. The people who have learnt and understood once I told them about my illness/past abuse have come forward and apologised for assuming things about me without knowing. The others, the ones who have spoken about me negatively without sitting down with me, getting to know me or have avoided confrontation, are still stuck in their small minded social settings. Still doing the same things, not growing or moving forward.
People always try to justify why they do things. This is because of assumptions and lack of educations. I have myself assumed something without asking someone in the past. I make sure now, if I hear someone speak negatively of someone else, I make up my own mind about them. I am my own person, and I will not make a judgement about someone, based on someone else's opinion/experience. That is being a social follower, and I am the owner of my own thoughts and opinions. I guess its also small city syndrome, people always are quick to diss someone without checking their own selves first, and thinking about they would handle situations if they experienced what the person suffering is experiencing.
An example the other day, I was placed in a social situation where I knew assumptions and judgements would be placed if I decided to show my face. Yet again, these people don't know me, only know one experience a person has recently had with me. I was whispered about and stared down like I shouldn't have been at a public place with my friends. No one cared to ask how I was after I tried to take my own life, they decided to just assume they knew everything that has happened and go from there. This made me feel uneasy, question myself yet again and made me feel sick within myself. Due to being able to positively self talk and validate myself, along with my friends support, I reminded myself that their assumptions are not correct from my point of view, and I know who I am and I wont pretend to be someone I am not, just because it may make others feel uncomfortable.
I think assumptions come from avoiding confrontation and lack of communication skills. I think if we all practiced asking instead of assuming, everyone could get along and move past what ever judgement people have created about others. It would make life easier for everyone involved.