Resist Jumping to Conclusions


How we interpret a situation, and the conclusions we draw are not always accurate. This is humorously depicted in some of the funniest sitcoms where continuous misunderstandings are creating constant confusion between the characters.

For instance, in watching the show Modern Family the other night, one of the characters, Mitchell, was holding hands with a supposedly comatose grandmother, when suddenly she grabs his hair, and he yells out “Let go!”

The rest of the family didn’t see the hair grabbing incident, but heard Mitchell yelling for the grandmother to let go, and concluded he meant letting go of her life, and not his hair.

Until he was able to explain what happened, the family was very upset with him based on their interpretation of the situation. Though funny on a TV show, it can be less humorous in our own lives when confusions occur, and our behavior or words are misconstrued.

I remember years ago giving a talk about the dynamics of my first marriage to a group exploring relationship issues. I was telling them that my relationship was like the one demonstrated in the old television show Moonlighting, with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.

The characters on the show used to bicker with each other a lot, and that’s how my partner and I communicated with each other much of the time.

Some years later, I ran into a woman who had attended that group, and in our conversation it became clear that she thought I’d been comparing my physical appearance to Cybill Shepherd, rather than comparing my relationship to the one between the program’s characters.

She ultimately admitted that her interpretation of my talk was that I had been bragging about my looks, and how negatively that impacted her feelings about me.

Good reminder to not jump to conclusions, and let go of our certainty that we understand a situation fully when perhaps we don’t have all the facts.

Are you able to resist jumping to conclusions, and consider other possible explanations for what occurs?

10 thoughts on “Resist Jumping to Conclusions

  1. Dear Cathie,

    Thank you for this beautiful article.

    What a misunderstanding, regarding your comparison to Cybill Shepherd’s character rather than the looks! In a sitcom this would have been funny, indeed. 😉

    Personally, I doubt that anybody can resist the “jump” all the time. However, I believe that we are free to choose to keep an open heart and mind even if we notice that we already have a judgement about a person or a situation.
    What helps me with this is to make a distinction between what I think about a situation and how I feel based on what my heart tells me.
    My thoughts might remember situations and people from the past and therefore place a judgement on what I find in the Here and Now. Mainly this happens because mind wants to protect me from harm based on what I already know. This can be accurate, at times. Other times it is not.
    My heart, on the other hand, is always present and without judgement. Therefore it’s evaluations about a current situation tend to be much more accurate. This sometimes goes so far, that I just feel that something is unhealthy for me, even though I have no current reference point for this. If I then notice what I notice and continue to observe the situation, I usually find out why my heart has been warning me, sooner rather than later. And it is always on spot. This, of course, also works the other way round when my heart keeps telling me something that looks scary at the first look is actually good for me.

    Much love and a Happy Autumn,

    • You shared such great comments Steffi! Thank you! So true, that we’re all going to jump to conclusions sometimes, but we can catch ourselves when it happens, and make a choice from there. Love the idea of listening and trusting our nonjudgmental heart, over certain conditioned thoughts that draw conclusions based on the past. Always a growth opportunity when old thinking pops up. Love, Cathie

  2. To quote Gilbert & Sulivan, Things are seldem what they seem”
    Traveling through Japan, I saw a very European looking man with his very Japanese looking companion. I asked him if he spoke English as I was lost. She replied ” my husband cant speak English but I grew up in America and I can. May I help you?” Hee hee.
    Let gooo. That’s terrible and hilarious. 😆

  3. I try not to jump to conclusions, but it’s not easy when you’re trying to figure out what is happening sometimes. I have a family member who always jumps to conclusions and sometimes the results are hilarious or very scary! I think I could write an entire sit com about that person 😉 (and I loved watching Moonlighting!)

  4. Pingback: How to Get Beyond Judgement | Kokopelli Bee Free Blog

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