Premise 1: If he/she truly appreciated/respected me, then he/she would have said/done X.
Premise 2: He/she did not say/do X.
Conclusion: Therefore, he/she does not appreciate/respect me.
This line of reasoning is the source of most of our relationship conflicts.
Many of our frustrations remain unresolved simply because we assume that our needs are obvious to the other party. When those needs are unmet, we have no ability to imagine how this could have happened without concluding that the other party was deliberately choosing to be an idiot.
Sometimes we’re right, but often we’re wrong.
Even when something seems obvious to you, it might be the exact opposite for the person you’re talking to.
Maybe the other party appreciates you and respects you, but perhaps they didn’t share your expectations about what needed to be said and done. Maybe the other party agrees with your expectations, but perhaps they had a counter-intuitive way of expressing their feelings.
it’s awfully hard to find a solution to conflict when you’ve already made up your mind that the other party is deliberately choosing to be an insensitive jerk.
There’s nothing wrong with questioning another person’s actions, but don’t forget to question your own assumptions as well.
It’s amazing to see how much people will try to do the right thing if you don’t automatically assume they were trying to do the wrong thing.