…our impulses are too strong for our judgement sometimes. – Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles
You know, as a woman with ADHD, that we have a tendency towards impulsive behavior. A bit of leaping before we look.
Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes, well, not so much.
Trying your hand at making hard candy, for instance, at 11:00 at night when you’ve never done it before – not such a great idea.
But the time our power was out for days and it was so very hot and we hadn’t had hot water for showers, running out into the pouring rain with my daughter and a bottle of shampoo – that’s a memory I cherish.
So how do you sort this out? How do you keep your adorable childlike tendencies to act spontaneously without ending up in a not so good situation?
And if you’re stopping to consider the consequences, is it really spontaneous and impulsive anymore?
Maybe rules weren’t meant to be applied to impulsive acts, but what about a few guidelines? A quick ten second run through the list before you make your leap? Would that be OK?
Here are the guidelines that I try to live by:
Too much impulsive behavior is not good for anyone. When you act impulsively, it should be a surprise to those who know you, not another there she goes again moment.
Take a few seconds to consider the consequences. What’s the worst that could happen?
When my daughter ran and I ran out in the rain for a little summer shower, the worst that could have happened was that we got wet and couldn’t get the shampoo out of our hair without diving into the pool. And the neighbors thought we were nuts.
But what about my candy making adventure? It was late, I was doing something new to me, and there was high temperatures and fire involved. I could have gotten burned or worse. Not the best idea.
And finally, how will it look? You do have to consider this as well as the people around you and the ones that you love. If you decide to jump on the dance floor at the middle school dance, how will your child react? Will they think it’s just you being funny again or will they be mortified?
Just take a few quick seconds to think things through and then, if it passes your test, go ahead and do it! And enjoy!
What’s the most impulsive thing that you’ve ever done?