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How much does your fear of consequence impact your life?

(22 Posts)
TheVillageIdiot Tue 21-Jun-05 14:09:05

Another thread made me question this in myself

For example, I would never drive my car after I'd have a drink because if I had an accident where somebody was hurt I'd want to know in the bottom of my heart that I couldn't have done anything to avoid it.

Likewise (and I'm not having a dig this maybe just be me being a worry wart) I couldn't leave my child because if something happened I'm not sure how I'd live with myself.

So in short I do (or don't do) specific things due to the possible consequences, however unreasonable/unlikely these consequences are. Ignoring the legalities of it, is there anything you won't do because of possible consequences (peace of mind or whatever you call it)

kama Tue 21-Jun-05 14:11:47

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TheVillageIdiot Tue 21-Jun-05 14:12:29

Sorry I mean home alone and she's a toddler

Pruni Tue 21-Jun-05 14:15:27

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QueenEagle Tue 21-Jun-05 14:16:39

TVI - if you lived your life worrying too much about the consequences of every action then your life would be very worrisome indeed!

I agree that to be negligent ie drink then drive is something to avoid but what about my situation a few weeks ago when I did my knee in, had it operated on and spent 4 weeks on crutches? All for an hour playing a game of netball? Life is for living. Things happen.

We can do our best to avoid unecessary risk, but life is about risk assessment isn't it? And deciding whether we could live with the consequences of our actions.

Mosschops30 Tue 21-Jun-05 14:17:54

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Caligula Tue 21-Jun-05 14:18:09

I try and do a risk assessment. Mine goes like this:

Chances of something bad happening - small. Consequences - small. OK

Chances of something bad happening - big. Consequences - small. Dilemma, probably deciding OK.

Chances of something bad happening - small. Consequences - big and dreadful. Dilemma, probably deciding something's not OK.

Chances of something bad happening - big. Consequences - big. No no.

EG: number 3 would be: chances of children being kidnapped by paedophile - miniscule. Consequences thereof - ruined life. Therefore, although the chances of something bad happening are almost negligible, I'm still aware of it and take it into consideration when deciding a course of action.

Pruni Tue 21-Jun-05 14:18:34

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TheVillageIdiot Tue 21-Jun-05 14:18:52

yes QE, that's what I mean these are two things thatI'm not sure I could live with myself for if something did happen. I was interested as to what other people think, is there anything they don't do because of fear of possible consequences or the liklihood of that what if actually happening

lunavix Tue 21-Jun-05 14:21:36


I overplan everything.

For example, dh and I are going to glastonbury this weekend. I'd love to go there and have this amazing experience, sit and talk to hippies all day, watch the best bands at night, do a ton of weird and crazy stuff to remember it by. sallystrawberry posted about how there was her and 4 friends in a tent with a duvet between them and no money. I'd love that.

But I'm planning my waterproofs, hiking boots, anti-diarrhoea tablets.... I have to overplan and think of the consequences else I panic. THerefore - won't have the spontaneous fun.

Caligula Tue 21-Jun-05 14:23:10

I never go out after dark on my own, unless it's just a short way. (Unless I'm driving.)

The likelihood of me being raped and murdered is quite low, but the consequences for me and my children if I were, are so dire, that I don't do it.

Risk - low. Consequences - high.

Therefore no, in this case.

QueenEagle Tue 21-Jun-05 14:29:39

Ok TVI - I am currently weighing up the risks of returning to netball once my knee has recovered. The risk is however that if I repeat the injury, it will be pretty devastating as far as my knee goes and the impact on my family will be pretty horrendous. I could play netball for another 20 years and be perfectly ok, but I have weighed it all up and think the risk is too great to take. Therefore, I am prepared to give up the sport I love with a passion to save any fallout with dh and my family.

Is that the sort of thing you meant or were you looking for a child related risk?

bossykate Tue 21-Jun-05 14:30:15

caligula, excellent, you clearly understand risk management!

bossykate Tue 21-Jun-05 14:30:58

sorry - risk assessment! develop some contingency plans/other mitigation strategies and then you will be set!

Caligula Tue 21-Jun-05 14:31:50

Caligula Tue 21-Jun-05 14:32:44

In my case, getting a car was a mitigation strategy!

Then of course you have to decide if it's safe to drive it...

TheVillageIdiot Tue 21-Jun-05 14:38:15

Sorry QE, I didn't mean specifically child related - my first one is one that bothered me even before I had children. I just meant in general.

Exactly the stuff you and Caligula are talking about. Just things relevant to yourself.

I just think it's interesting because for example, I know lots of peole who drink drive and I have before now got in a car with somebody over the limit behind the wheel (not since I had dd) however I would never drive even after only 1 glass and never have. So there my logic doesn't really work.

I'm not trying to say anyone is right or wrong, I'm just curious that's all .

Another example is I was out with a couple of friends the other weekend and we went clubbing - one wanted to go home around 1am and was all prepared to disappear off on her own to get a cab (10-15min walk through rough area to cabs, waiting time then 25min journey once in a cab). I said no we'd all go because if somethng had happened to her I would have felt terrible that I had let her go on her own. She's a grown woman.

Caligula Tue 21-Jun-05 14:42:41

I am now adult enough to understand that if I have that one more glass of wine, I will feel like shite tomorrow, so I don't.

It's only taken me nearly forty years on earth to learn that one.

flashingnose Tue 21-Jun-05 14:58:30

One thing I've noticed now rather than when I was growing up is that many parents think that all accidents are preventable and therefore you are failing as a parent if you don't prevent accidents from happening. Whereas I would rather take the chance and let my children climb the tree for the experience - if they fell out and broke their arm, I would refuse to beat myself up about it.

This puts me in a minority of one on MN I think!

QueenEagle Tue 21-Jun-05 15:03:53

Absolutely agree with you on the letting kids experience things even if some aspect of the activity could be construed as dangerous. Without this, kids don't learn their limits nor the consequences of their actions for themselves. Whilst I want my kids to be safe, I would hate to wrap them up in cotton wool. dh's heart is in his mouth when our 2 year old climbs up the ladder on the slide. I think it's healthy to teach him how to climb and let him figure it out for himself (with us standing nearby obviously). Kids would miss out on so much if they weren't allowed to do things I would consider normal like climbing trees, for fear of a broken arm, say.

TheVillageIdiot Tue 21-Jun-05 15:15:39

I let dd to pretty much everything, I can't think of anything off the top of my head that I don't let her do. I am sure there is something though.

wishingchair Tue 21-Jun-05 16:13:30

Glad I'm not the only one. I have to travel a lot with work and always the night before I never sleep, then spend the time on the plane praying it doesn't crash/get taken over by terrorists/get shot down. I go through your risk assessment thing - likelyhood of it happening: tiny, impact: massive. But I do have to pull myself from the brink of insanity on this one as I know it's a bit crazy. I have the same (totally) irrational worries about going into London ... what if there was a terrorist attack. This has only come on since I had dd as I worked in central london at 9/11 time and it didn't bother me.

But in summary - yes, I don't do a lot of those things others have mentioned because of the consequences:

Drink driving - no, but I know so many people who say "but you probably won't get caught". That's not the point!!! What if I killed someone!!
Walking home at night - never
Minicabs - never
Chatting up strange men in bars - I should be so lucky

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