Do you or someone you know have a tendency of jumping to conclusions? Do you cut people off mid-sentence because you already know where it’s going and have already started to panic?
Well the Olympics has opened up a new category of sports: Mental Gymnastics!
This category covers everything from trivia to pi recitations to the centrepiece sport of jumping to conclusions. This sport will be set up as a Family Feud-esque faceoff where a judge will read off a statement and competitors will have to hit a button in order to present their anxiety-induced worst-case-scenario in response. Points are given based on speed and the overall divergence from the intended statement. And don’t worry about waiting for the judge to finish speaking, you might actually get the right idea of the statement.
An example would be as follows: “Hey babe, I know you were really looking forward to our date tonight —” BEEP!
Answer: “But I don’t love you anymore and I want to break up.”
This would overall be a 7/10 response, as the full statement was: “Hey babe, I know you were really looking forward to our date tonight, so I made sure to book our favourite table and extra wine.”
The extreme difference between the athlete’s thought process and the statment’s intention while still being somewhat a response to the statement, combined with the speed of the response, are worth more points. But for such a diverging answer, why is it only 7/10? That is because the upper limit of jumping to conclusions can never be understated.
Another answer could be: “But I murdered someone and the police are after me so I have to catch a plane to Paraguay.” That would be a 9/10 response, because (again) the upper limit cannot be understated.
We also can’t forget the second half of the point structure: speed.
This is a risky strategy where the athlete focuses on responding as quickly as possible, but runs the risk of being completely off on the subject matter.
The statement in question is regarding a change in plans, a speedy response could cut the question off at “babe” and have a response of “I hate you,” which would give high points for speed but less for being an unfocused response.
The line between the two is extremely fine, as the athlete must both respond to the statement with a worst-case-scenario while also responding fast enough otherwise they run the risk of hearing the full statement and accidentally getting the right idea. While it is possible to jump to conclusions after getting all of the information, it is much more difficult and relies more on actively misunderstanding the statement in its entirety.
This sport is also beneficial for the partners of people who are natural athletes of the sport, as it will teach them to frontload their statements with the positive aspect to prevent confusion and avoid conclusion jumps from happening at all.
For example, the earlier statement can be rewritten to say: “Hey babe, I booked our favourite table and ordered extra wine because I know you were looking forward to our date tonight.”
This version would both assure the athlete that there is nothing to be concerned about while also keeping communication open and clear.
We hope to see you soon at an upcoming tournament! And we will ensure to begin all email responses with easy to misunderstand and contradictory openers to get everyone in the spirit of the competition.