When we jump to conclusions, we tend to draw negative conclusions without evidence. This usually happens in two ways: mind reading and fortune telling. Mind reading assumes that others have negative intentions, while fortune telling predicts a negative future outcome before the event has occurred. Here are five ways that can help stop you from jumping to conclusions:
1) Reflect on times that you may have jumped to the wrong conclusion
When was the last time you wrongly accused your partner of a flaw that turned out to be unfair? Reflecting on these moments can remind you to think of alternative reasons something happened before jumping to the worst case scenario.
2) Try to see the whole picture
Attempt to look at the entire perspective of a situation or issue instead of looking at one piece of it. This can help you get a better idea of people’s motives and other scenarios that could play out.
3) Take your time when coming to a conclusion
Sometimes the trick is simply taking a moment to calm yourself thoughts. Deep breathing for just 10 seconds can reset your mind and allow you to regroup your thoughts. When you act solely on high emotions, you may react more extremely.
4) Evaluate how you form opinions of others
If you find yourself critically judging others too quickly, you may be forming wrong opinions about them. Instead of thinking the worst in people when you first interact, take some time to try to genuinely get to know them. This can help reframe the immediate negative thoughts.
5) Think about how TV shows depict this tendency
Many times, we form our habits around what we see on TV, which is not always socially accurate. We see all too often that people who jump to conclusions on the big screen tend to be seen as funny and humorous. By associating with this type of behavior, you may find logical flaws in your own thinking patterns.