When you make assumptions about how things should be, how people should act, or even what they're thinking, you are doing them and yourself a great disservice. If you act on an assumption without concrete evidence to support your guess, you can fall into a state of distress. Learning how to stop assuming will free you from needless, harmful worry.

Step 1

Stop listening to gossip. Avoid groups at work that spend free time indulging in character assassination of fellow employees or bosses. When faced with rumor and innuendo, you may assume the worst. What could have been a friendship with a co-worker or a pleasant relationship with your boss is sullied by your assumptions.

Step 2

Don't judge a book by its cover. If your wife has an unpleasant look on her face, your first tendency is to assume she's miffed at you. You quickly review the last conversation you had together to try to remember whether you said something to upset her. Rather than working yourself into a lather over an assumption, simply ask her what's wrong and if there's anything you can do to help. More often than not, people are consumed by their own worries and challenges.They may appear upset, but they are merely working out their own solutions.

Step 3

Put yourself in another person's shoes. People's lives can change at a moment's notice. If a relative or close friend chooses not to share her troubles, your tendency may be to assume that she's pulling away from your relationship. Don't assume it's all about you. During the next conversation with your friend casually work in an offer of support if she is ever in need.