Having Second Thoughts

I read an interesting article the other day about our thoughts and our character. At the time, I thought “that’s interesting” but didn’t pay it much further thought until a day or so ago. The premise of the article was about our thoughts and how they align with our character and I’ve got to admit that it made me feel a little better about myself.

Those who’ve been with me for a while now know that I do my best to think the best of everyone but that occasionally (well to honest it happens far more often than I would like)… well I just fail miserably at being charitable with my thoughts. So how did this article make me feel better!

It pointed out that as a rule, the first thought that we have about a person. Place or situation is often as a result of our years of life experiences, habits and conditioning. It then went on to say that the SECOND thought is what defines your character. I have no qualms in raising my hand and saying that there have been times that I have looked at a person and thought “Honey, did you not glance in the mirror before you left the house”? Admit it. I’m not the only one guilty of this right? What I am finding though is quite often these days my next thought will be “and who died and made you a fashionista Sue? Maybe she/he has nothing else to wear today.”

Thats just a tiny example of some of the judging thoughts that pass through my mind each week though. Often I have observed situations and made judgements on the people involved. I know I’m not alone in doing this. I don’t know of one person who can claim to never make judgements of others. This is where I am finding that the second thought ‘maketh the man’ so to speak, as I berate myself and begin to look for reasons behind the words or behaviour.

No one is perfect. No one. We all fail. We all have that ‘first’ thought but its the second thought that defines who you are. I have come home from work on a number of occasions and done a mental stocktake of my interactions throughout the day. I’ve even journalled about things and berated myself for my thoughts. i guess that could where my second thoughts define me. its an intersting concept and one i discussed with my boss yesterday.

What do you think? Do you think this idea is right!

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33 thoughts on “Having Second Thoughts

  1. I sure like the sound of that theory. Like a a free chance. It makes sense: the first thought is an unprocessed, knee-jerk reaction. From the immature side. Then, the mature and more charitable/knowledgeable side arrives on the scene to do damage control.

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    1. I agree with you both. If we had no damage control then it would speak volumes. Often our initial reaction to something is made with no rational thought behind it whatsoever, it is when we loom rationally at things that we make better decisions.

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  2. We all judge others, to use a cliche’ it’s human nature. In religious terms, only Christ can judge righteously. We are the sum of our life’s experiences. My wife and I have been in marriage counseling for several weeks now and it has been a great experience. Choices – life is all about choices.

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  3. What a eye-opening post. We all have those first thoughts, and most often those first thoughts are not very kind. But it’s the second thought, after we have taken the time to *think*, that ultimately counts. I really loved this post and reading it excited me because of the truth behind it.

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  4. I had never really thought about this but I think it is true. Sometimes though my initial “instinct” about a person will be correct, not making a judgement call, just getting a bad vibe and being right!

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  5. I do think there is validity in that Suz. I once saw the Dalai Lama interviewed and when asked if he ever got angry, he replied(to paraphrase): I sometimes think angry thoughts but I stop before I speak and consider. It is seldom that the anger is justified.

    That’s what I love about the Dalai Lama – he knows what it like to be human – he doesn’t say : Don’t Get Angry. He says: Stop before speaking and Consider if the anger is justified.

    Anyway, that is my interpretation of what you are saying Suz have a great day!

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  6. I think you’re spot on. We are human and fail miserably at perfection. It’d be nice if I could say or do all the right things the first time but when I don’t , I hope that what I do and say the second time to make things right counts. Our immediate reactions can be off but it’s what takes place after thought and consideration that matter even more. I think you’re spot on!

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  7. Am I a bad person for just going with the first thought and then thinking nothing more about it… I don’t have a charitable second thought after my first one. Its not like I had said it out loud. That would be hurtful. Its in our nature….

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  8. Lately, I’ve taken my husband to training at an off-site location, wherein we’ve arrived early and enjoyed people watching as we drank coffee and the people entered the building. Notably, there is one woman who must literally not have any fashion or common sense at all, let alone modesty. Strapless maxi dress AT WORK when it’s chilly and wet and the boobs are not high enough to meet the cups. Yoga pants with stripes down the side and patent leather ballet flats. See-through tank top and skinny jeans, her tummy hanging visibly over the jeans, the sides of her breasts, exposed, until, as she nears the building she puts on a cardigan.
    I just want to take this girl shopping. Yes, I’ve found she’s a loving young mother, and rather flakey, and I feel immense sadness when I see her, as she walks with her head down all the time, showing me she isn’t proud of who she is. I cannot help but think that clothes do matter. I feel like I should stop her and say, “Oh Honey, NO!” but then I could dress her. This wouldn’t change the flakeyness of her, but it might well give her a boost of confidence and get her promoted.
    How arrogant am I? Or is it the wisdom of 20 more years? Or am I shallow?
    I’m sure she’s doing the best she can, but she sure is one hot mess.
    Isn’t there a phrase about your thoughts become your actions? It seems I’ve read that somewhere, so I can only conclude this post is right on target.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think we constantly need a wake up call. We have no idea what is happening in a person’s life outside of what we are seeing at that one moment. Maybe they are as pulled together as they can be at that time.

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    1. It is true that we have no idea what is going on in another person’s life however sometimes we become so caught up in our own lives that those first thoughts reflect our own shortcomings, flaws and struggles.

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  10. Very interesting Sue. I use to tell myself, that my first impression of a person can be wrong, but it is my intuition and I need to follow that, because life taught me, this is the best to do.
    But this about the first and second thought sound right, because we need to re-think and don’t judge. We never know, what kind of life situation the other are living with. Great post Sue, I need to think more about this.

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