The phrase ‘jumping to conclusions’ is a familiar one, but have you ever stopped to think how much this process is effecting your mental health? In fact, this mindset is a huge factor in facilitating social anxiety and delusional disorders and can have detrimental effects not only on your mental health but on your relationships as well.
In this post, we go through 3 signs that you tend to jump to conclusions too quickly in your life and go through ways of how you can stop this damaging thought pattern.
The negative impact of jumping to conclusions
This way of thinking may be such a regular part of your thought pattern that you have never thought to question it. However, by its very nature, when we jump to conclusions, it means that we are drawing negative conclusions based on little (or even no) evidence. Often, these conclusions are critical to ourselves or others around us.
Jumping to conclusions is one of numerous ‘cognitive distortions’ and is a common way of thinking found in those suffering from anxiety and depression.
3 signs you are jumping to conclusions too quickly
Do you mind-read?
One telltale sign that you are too quick to draw conclusions is through a practice referred to here as ‘mind-reading’.
This is a common thought pattern among those who experience social anxiety. It involves jumping to the conclusion that those around them think negatively of them or are looking down on them, without knowing what someone’s thoughts about them are. More often than not, this form of jumping to conclusions is projecting your own negative thoughts about yourself onto how you think other people view you.
If you’ve found yourself in a social situation and are preoccupied with feelings that those around you have a negative opinion of you, then it is highly likely that you are mind-reading and jumping to a conclusion far too quickly.
Mind-reading can also occur in the workplace. You may have jumped to the conclusion that your co-workers think you are inadequate based on assumptions rather than concrete evidence. Such a practice is detrimental to your self-esteem and confidence and we will show you how to combat this thought pattern later in the article.
Do you expect the worst?
Another sign that you are too quick to jump to conclusions is if you routinely predict the worst-case scenario to any given situation. Perhaps you have a big presentation coming up at work and your only thought is that it will go badly. Your co-workers will think you are inadequate and your standing in the company will deteriorate.
Such a way of thinking can only be unhelpful, and the basis of such assumptions and predictions are usually unfounded. If you find you are jumping to such negative conclusions and expecting the worse regularly, then this can have a negative impact on your mental health.
Are you quick to judge?
Imagine the scenario, you’re are getting on a train and a young woman cuts in front of you taking the last remaining seat in the carriage. You’re fuming and start telling yourself what an awful and selfish person this woman is. Then you look at her again and see that she is pregnant, rather breathless and recovering from the ordeal of negotiating public transport whilst carrying a precious load.
Here is a classic example of jumping to conclusions too quickly and assigning an incorrect judgment. Going through life making quick judgments such as this can interfere with your relationships. It can also negatively skew your perception of the world around you.
How to stop this habit
First of all, realizing that you are quick to jump to conclusions does not make you a bad person. It is a common trait amongst many of us. But stopping it can go a long way in overturning the negative way we view ourselves and the world around us.
Having an awareness that you are too quick to jump to conclusions is the first step in the process. Taking note of when you are having this negative thought pattern will help you to alter it.
When you find yourself ‘mind-reading’ and imposing a negative opinion of yourself on other people, ask yourself: ‘Is this based on solid evidence and could the opposite possibly be true?”
Equally, when you’re foreboding a negative outcome to a situation, think about a possible positive outcome that could occur instead of the negative conclusion you have jumped to. You can stop judging people around you too quickly through checking yourself each time you do it. You should also train your brain to suspend judgment before adequate evidence is available.
Jumping to conclusions too quickly is rarely a useful tool to navigate our way through day to day life. Instead, it can hinder our relationships and cause us to harbor negative feelings about ourselves and scenarios in our lives. Taking steps to stop yourself thinking in this way can radically change your viewpoint. Eventually, it will have a positive impact on your mental health.
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