Posted by: fatherandson | 5 July 2007

Are you an impulsive person?

im‧pul‧sivesomeone who is impulsive does things without considering the possible dangers or problems first

‘Are you an impulsive person?’ was the question I asked my students at the beginning of last Tuesday lesson as a warm-up exercise. Most of them understood the question well but they found it hard to answer, so I wrote on the board the following scenario:

You REALLY like someone. You…

a. tell him/her your feelings the next time you see them.

b. write a beautiful poem and send it to that person.

c. say nothing because you’re afraid that she/he won’t like you.

The students became noisy and gave me different choices. Linh, Nhan, Dat, Ha and Anh chose Option a while Option b was chosen by most of the girls. Interestingly, Mr Nhat, the eldest student and a successful manager, selected Option c. Ah hah, well 🙂 he is a careful person who always think before making decision. It’s easy to understand this because he’s deputy manager of Quang Tri VTN.

The classroom atmosphere was heated when I introduced more scenarios in a worksheet to them. Then I asked them to work in pairs discussing what are the good points and bad points of being impulsive. The warm-up exercise was so successful that almost every student got up to talk. A lot of their findings were far different from what I expected. Oh, I couldn’t be happier when my students worked. What else can I seek for?

Despite their different opinions about being impulsive, they almost agreed that we should have a right mix of common sense and impulsiveness.

To end the lesson, I asked them to read the following story just to get more understanding of the word ‘impulsive’. It is a true story which was posted on 27 July, 2001.

Lovers criss-cross world in vain

London, July 27: Ian Johnstone missed his girlfriend so much he flew back to Britain from Australia to propose to her. The problem is she did the same in the opposite direction. He and Amy Dolby even managed to miss each other when they sat in the same airport lounge in Singapore at the same time to wait for connecting flights.

Dolby, heartbroken when she arrived at Johnstone’s Sydney apartment to find he had flown to London, told The Times: “It was as though someone was playing a cruel joke on us. “He is the most romantic person I have ever known. I think our problem is that we are both quite impulsive people. We are always trying to surprise each other.”

After an 11,000-mile flight across the globe, she was greeted by Johnstone’s astonished flatmate asking what she was doing there. “The awful truth dawned when I found that Ian’s rucksack and most of his clothes were missing. I sat on the end of his bed and cried my eyes out,” she said.

Johnstone, a 27-year-old bricklayer, had taken a year off to travel round Australia. But he was missing Dolby, a 26-year-old secretary, so much he got a job on a Sydney building site and started saving for a surprise. He then flew home to Britain and went to her apartment armed with an engagement ring, champagne and flowers.

“I really missed Amy and I’d been thinking about her all the time. I thought she was winding me up when she phoned me from Australia,” he said. Johnstone then asked Dolby to marry him on the phone. “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry but I accepted,” she said.

Dolby was given a tour of Sydney by Johnstone’s friends before wending her weary way home. Johnstone had to stay in Britain for two weeks because he could not change his ticket.



  1. The interesting lesson! I think that, in the life, impulsiveness has the good point and bad point so we should have a right mix of sense and impulsiveness. However, In love, you should be impulsive because If the result can bad but you will not regret. Before time, as almost girls, I will chose opsion b but If I was rechosed I would chosed opsion a.

  2. I totally agree with you. We should be kind of impulsive in love otherwise there is a lack of romance.

    You know, my choice is b or a. 🙂

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