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Never Jump to conclusions.

It can be hard not to jump to conclusions in this day and age with all of our previous prejudices and life experiences. We have had so many encounters with other people, and the things that they have done we apply to new situations and new people, despite the fact that they might not be acting based on the same reasons someone else had. Our brains naturally see patterns and puts things in categories. Enough experience with a certain type of person or situation, and our brains will catalog and try to put them in the same group, then apply it to every person similar to those interactions and every event similar to those experiences.

 Think of all the people you make decisions about before you’ve even talked to them. Think about all the times you have judged a business based on someone else’s review, or your own encounter at another location. Think about all the times you have gotten angry because of the way someone was driving. There are a million different examples of the way we jump to conclusions in a single day. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep we are jumping to conclsions. Sometimes we are jumping to positive conclusions, and sometimes we are jumping to negative conclusions.

What if we didn’t jump to conclusions for just one day? What if we saw everyone we encountered as a new person, with new reasons for doing things? What if we didn’t judge the world based on past experiences? What if we took each moment as it was and got all the facts before making a decision about it?

I think this could open up a world of possibilities. That dirty “creepy” looking guy you avoided in the store could have been a nice person, just getting in town from a crazy long trip and needed some things before going home. That “thuggish” looking guy at the bar could actually be the most caring and generous man in the room. The person of a certain nationality might actually tip you for their haircut. That restaurant could have had better food and better service than the other one you went to, or the review you read online. That person slamming on their breaks could have been trying to avoid an animal.

I’m not saying be completely trusting and invite strangers into your life. Of course, we need to have some common sense. However, by not jumping to conclusions we can find out for sure what that person is all about.  This goes back to what I am always talking about: how does it feel? It doesn’t feel good to think negatively about people or places or things. So, why think negatively without a real reason? Isn’t it better to be open-minded?  If we don’t develop an opinion before the facts then things will work out better. If we judge negatively about something and then find out otherwise, we feel guilty. So, we feel negative about them first, then shocked maybe happy when we find out the truth, then negative because of the guilt. When we pre-judge positively and find out otherwise, we can open ourselves to them hurting us, and anger at ourselves.

For a week now, I have been making the  conscious decision not to jump to conclusions. It is wonderful how many negative emotions and feelings that do not happen when you do this. No flash of road rage, no tensing up in a store near a certain “type” of person, no feeling of dread about certain customers in my salon, no  creeped-out feeling from guys in a bar. Obviously, not jumping to conclusions will not get rid of all the bad in the world, or al the negativity in your life. It will get rid of some though, and open the door to a world of possibilities.