WT 730 Perception vs Intention

Here’s a little story to help us see the difference between perception and intention.

Ross and I go to the gym of a morning.

Ross is generally ready before I am so he backs the car out of the garage and sits there with it idling.

I put my shoes on and close the garage door and get in the car.

For a while now, this behaviour has annoyed me.

Ignoring all my communication skills for effective confrontation, this week I got in the car and said, “It gives me the s…s when you sit there with the car idling. I feel pressured to hurry up and get going and I don’t like it.”

To which Ross replied, “Well, you can …. off. I start the car so it’s nice and warm for you when you get in.”


Here’s a classic example of perception vs intention.

My perception (or Automatic Listening according to Loretta Malandro) had me thinking Ross was getting impatient with me and I was taking too long.

This was not even close to the truth of his intention.

How often does that happen?

We make up a story based on what’s going on for us, that has absolutely nothing to do with what the other person intends.

Next time you find yourself making up a story, don’t rush in with a blurt that is critical and provoking. Take your time to explore the reasons why the other person might be doing what they are doing.

As in this case, they may actually have positive intentions for you.

I guess I can look forward to jumping into a cold car from now on.

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