Bad Habit #15 ~ Always Jumping To Conclusions
I saw a tee shirt once that said “The Only Exercise I Get Is Jumping To Conclusions!” It struck me that if I always jumped to conclusions, I wasn’t sure if I’d want to let the whole world know that. Particularly since the jumping part was done before you have any real facts about the situation. Jumping to conclusions was kinda like having your own National Enquirer right in your head…no discernible facts, but brother can we make a story out of it!
Why do we have a tendancy to jump to conclusions? Sometimes it’s our hypothesis based on past experience. We interpret what we observe, experience or have learned in order to make a meaningful understanding of a situation. Unfortunately, our understanding is frequently based solely on our own life experiences rather than looking at the facts. Sometimes we’re trying to project a situation based on previously observed behaviors and actions. Again, without all the facts. And sometimes we interpret a situation with the facts but add our own judgment about the facts.
We are human, and fallible. Even the “jumping'” is a mistake. The jumping part is really false interpretations we have based on our JUDGEMENT of another or a situation. So really, when we talk of “Jumping to Conclusions” it’s just a more polite way of saying we have been a bit judgey….and oh so wrong.
Jumping to conclusions is not my usual course of business, but lord knows I’ve done it. I think we all have. The last time I did, as I wrote on my resolutions sheet, was when there was an important event that immediate family members, non-speaking family members, and ex spouses would more than likely attend. I was worried that one or two people in attendance would shift the focus toward themselves, instead of the spotlight being focused on the person of the hour. Or that people would fight and argue at a time that would have been completely inappropriate and disrespectful toward the honored person.
My projection was based on past history of arguments I had witnessed, bad feelings toward each other, squabbling, and overall restraint from vocalizing any insult or put-down that crossed their minds. But…..I was looking at the situation from my own experiences without any concrete facts. I was projecting the situation. And, thank heavens, my conclusions were wrong. The event was wonderful, conflict was non-existant, and everybody played nicely together
I’m not sure if I’m guilty of jumping to conclusions or not. I tend to assume the guy at Best Buy is going to be an idiot…is that jumping to conclusions? Yes. Yes, it is. Even though I have experiential data in my head that will support my theory, it’s a broad stroke to paint about everybody. I tend to stay away from things I project in my head…things that I know will not result in a happy ending. I’m working on it by offering the alternative situation (you know the one that’s going to end well) to play out in my head instead of letting the assumption of disappointment win. My new resolution: Assume positive intent.