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Are you a risk taker? What do you think makes someone take risks or not?

(23 Posts)
OnwardandUpward Wed 30-Mar-22 21:59:30

I have always known I wasn't much of a risk taker, but don't know why it is that I try to completely manage any risk so it's minimal while some others in my family are happy to take huge risks.
Some gamble huge amounts of money, some take huge risks with their health, putting themselves in danger while knowing the risks and ignoring them.
In the past I've been advised to take small risks, but I can barely cope with doing anything that's not predictable and I don't know why. Can anyone shed light on what makes us different?

BlueBelle Wed 30-Mar-22 22:18:28

No I m not a risk taker at all My Dad was not at all either I think mum would have been had she not been with Dad
I have three children two aren’t and one is I think risk takers don’t have the same thought process and are happier because they don’t think so deeply about things maybe we non riskers think too much
I’d love to be less cautious but you can’t change your core base I don’t think even if you try

OnwardandUpward Wed 30-Mar-22 22:26:25

One of my kids is a total risk taker (no idea where he gets it from) and the other is as predictable as they come, like me.

I am very cautious, I always have been. I get all anxious about the risks others are taking, worrying about them too-while they are not anxious at all. Strange really. I've only just thought about it and wondered why.

Interesting you are also cautious Bluebelle. I'd love to be less cautious, but I also couldn't bear not weighing up all the risks and micromanaging everything lol

Luckygirl3 Wed 30-Mar-22 22:38:23

I am a risk taker in some ways, but not in others. I am not a mad daredevil; but I did jump off the career wheel at the the of 50 to retrain and pursue my hobby (photography) as a profession, alongside running arts outreach projects. I had so much fun .... but it did not do a lot for my pension! It was all the more risky as my OH had had to leave full time work for health reasons 8 years before. Mad woman!

Serendipity22 Wed 30-Mar-22 22:49:38

I am definitely not a risk taker. I am scrupulously careful and want to know the in's and out's of everything before i go ahead.

My mum and dad were not risk takers nor my son and daughter.

grannyactivist Wed 30-Mar-22 23:03:08

I would have instinctively said no, I’m not a risk taker, but then I know that my friends think I am; mostly because I have taken many ‘strangers’ into my home and I engage a lot with people who would be regarded by many as being on the ‘margins’ of society.

One man’s meat etc……. 🤷‍♀️

GagaJo Wed 30-Mar-22 23:23:38

I'm a risk taker. Always have been. I think it's just a personality thing. And when a couple of the risks you take work out, it encourages you to take even more. I'd say 90% of the risks I've taken have paid off. Some haven't worked out quite as well as I'd hoped, but I'm flexible and have worked most of the doubtful ones round to be acceptable.

I think part of the reason mine work out is because I stick at them, once taken. Whereas I know others who take a risk and when it isn't immediately a success, give up. You have to invest a bit of time and effort most of the time.

M0nica Thu 31-Mar-22 00:04:26

I think it is a question of how you understand the true risks of what you are doing, what the rewards are and whether you think in the long run it is worth the effort.

We all of us take risks non-stop during every day. Most of us are married, we travel in cars, breath in polluted air in cities, eat Ultra Processed Foods (biscuits, supermarket bread, sweets,) are overweight, ignore the behaviours that make us prone to Type 2 diabetes, drink more alcohol than recommended. Things we never think of as risks but all of us take them, even when we know that what we are doing could kill us.

When it comes to conscious risks, we are too often swayed by emotion or anecdotal evidence or partial evidence.

For example: COVID cases are rising fast, but deaths are very few and hospital admissions are still nowhere near their height. Look at the BBC link www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51768274

In December 2020. reported COVID cases (delta) were around 50,000 a day, compared with 80,000 plus now. In December 2020, deaths rose 1,500 a day and more, now it is between 150-250 a day, despite the daily case rate being over 50% higher.

As for hospital cases, in Dec 2020 nearly 40,000 people were in hospital, even though far fewer were being infected each day. Now the figure is under 20, 000.

The fall for those in intensive care is even more extreme. In December 2020 4,000 people were on ventilators, now the figures are around 400, a 90% fall. www.statista.com/statistics/1190451/covid-19-patients-on-ventilators-in-the-uk/

Now I do not want to make this a COVID thread, but more to make the point that people get emotive and worried about how many cases there are every day and completely ignore all the statistics on hospital admissions, those on ventilators etc etc, that show the disease is now a relatively mild illness, for all but a but a very small proportion of people, the same people who are probably at risk from any kind of infection and would be leading shielded lives whether we had COVID or not.

Obviously, like everyone I can mutter the pius comment about every death being a tragedy - and of course it is, but in that case, you shouldn't ever get into a car, cross a road, cycle to work, get overweight, eat lots of sweet foods, even staying in bed can lead to embolisms, if you stay there cowering for too long.

Now I will never take a physical risk, because I am dyspraxic, which means I have poor physical co-ordination, so the odds are stacked against me, so you will not find me wing walking, or crossing narrow bridges, or, now, cycling, except offroad.

But like, Luckygirl3 I will take risks with my career and other things. I will take a risk to stand up for people, when it will not make me popular or will lead to me potentially being identified by management as a trouble maker.

On the other hand I have always controlled my weight, I do not drink much alcohol and rarely eat UPFs.

We are all risk takers. but mostly unconsciously, many of our risk or not, taking decisions are driven by emotion rather than reason and logic.

Teacheranne Thu 31-Mar-22 00:44:09

I am definitely not a risk taker, my daughter is always telling me to stop worrying and over thinking things! I like to be in control and can micromanage things, forgetting to delegate or accept help.

My attitude to financial risk is very similar, I like my money in very low risk funds, sometimes I tell my financial advisor that I would prefer to keep my hard earned cash under my mattress!

BigBertha1 Thu 31-Mar-22 06:14:20

I am a risk taker and would get into all kinds of trouble if I weren't married to a risk adverse man but I do shake things up now and then.

PECS Thu 31-Mar-22 07:50:57

I had not really thought about this. I got married young to someone known since I was 15..that was a risk..but not a conscious one!
I had a career in education..so a traditional path & not particularly risky. I did take risks in the job..often to defy dictats & do what my professional judgement told me was better for students.
I don't have money invested..other than my pension so I don't have control over where it is invested...

I have been the one in our relationship to instigate house moves..DH would probably still be in the first tiny home we bought if I had not driven the move!

My mum on the other hand took a big "risk" .. a provincial NE England working class girl she married a foreign law student & moved to London within 2 yrs of meeting him. 6 years later she was on a boat, with her DH & 2 children, to East Africa. However she was a tip top secretary & book keeper and managed our family & money carefully!

I think we all ' gamble' with some aspects of our lives and are more cautious in others.

OnwardandUpward Thu 31-Mar-22 08:10:47

Interesting answers, thanks everyone.

@M0nica like you I am also dyspraxic and only ride a bike off road.
I'm careful with most things and avoid toxic people. I suppose the thing I risk most is my weight as I eat things I shouldn't. I do take small risks, like buying a lottery ticket even though the chance of winning is small.

I'm an introvert and wonder if risk taking is associated with being an extrovert.

Kate1949 Thu 31-Mar-22 09:39:47

I've never been a risk taker. Big scaredy cat me. Oh the missed opportunities!

TerriBull Thu 31-Mar-22 10:01:45

I'm not a risk taker now, the passage of time has made me far more cautious. I've developed a "worst case scenario complex" I think. I probably was one once though before I saw potential danger lurking round every corner, I took some risks that could have ended badly but thankfully didn't.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 31-Mar-22 10:11:59

Apparently you are born with a risk taking gene or not so much.

My son is, and his life has reflected it from mountain biking in the Himalayas to North Africa to the Pyrenees etc. to kayaking down the Colorado, all sorts of other risks that others would not take.

My daughter not so much. Hates travelling loved staying home with her family. Was offered a contract by her company which meant travelling the world at sun eye watering salary. Not for her, she turned it down preferring her home and family life.

Both as happy as Larry in their chosen life style. Neither one really understanding the other😄😄😄

GagaJo Thu 31-Mar-22 10:27:51

I'm also an introvert OnwardandUpward, and I think that helps/increases my risk taking because I'm so self reliant I don't need anyone else to lean on and don't have voices warning me against the risks.

Yammy Thu 31-Mar-22 10:33:08

I am certainly not a risk-taker, and the odd times I have, I have fallen on my face.
Perhaps like someone up post I do with my health, I am overweight and know and acknowledge it but can't stop myself. It's not big portions it's the incidental snacks.
I have one child who isn't and one who is. DH is half and half. In a physical way much more adventurous than me. In a financial way more cautious than me.
It seems to balance out fine.

AGAA4 Thu 31-Mar-22 11:14:57

I am a cautious type and like to have a good idea of the likely outcomes to my actions. I wish I was more spontaneous like my DH was. He would think something was a good idea like a house move and we would move quite quickly while I would still be thinking about the negative things. It always worked out well. I know I overthink.

SporeRB Thu 31-Mar-22 12:02:34

I suppose I am a bit of a risk taker, at 25 years old, I married my husband, emigrated to the UK when I have never visited UK before.

When it came to financial risk, I have bought a property off plan, kind of just buy it and worry about how I am going to finance it later and it turned out to be the best financial decision I made.

Don’t play by the book, try to wing it sometimes, when I first started working in the UK , I managed to persuade the HR manager to put me at the top of my salary scale instead of the bottom because of my qualifications.

If I wanted to apply for something very important, I make sure the odds are in my favour before I apply.

My DH is more of a risk taker than me, I am not so sure about my daughter. She is too organised and she sometimes think we are a bit crazy.

SueDonim Thu 31-Mar-22 13:56:05

I’m not generally a risk-taker, although I suppose upping sticks and moving to two developing world counties sight unseen might be considered risky by some.

My son is a psychologist and risk-takers are an interesting subject. They tend to be the people who are also high achievers. He works with top-level medics and they are often risk-takers where the stakes are very high.

Sara1954 Thu 31-Mar-22 14:09:31

In some ways I am, we have always taken a lot of chances with our business, and also with buying properties. My theory about that is, I came from a poor background, so I could adapt to downsizing if I had to.
We nearly lost our business once, and took a major chance in taking it in another direction, no staff but family, and a lot of hard work.
That never really worried me too much, but ask me to go on a roller coaster, and I might collapse with terror.

GagaJo Thu 31-Mar-22 14:18:46

SporeRB

I suppose I am a bit of a risk taker, at 25 years old, I married my husband, emigrated to the UK when I have never visited UK before.

When it came to financial risk, I have bought a property off plan, kind of just buy it and worry about how I am going to finance it later and it turned out to be the best financial decision I made.

Don’t play by the book, try to wing it sometimes, when I first started working in the UK , I managed to persuade the HR manager to put me at the top of my salary scale instead of the bottom because of my qualifications.

If I wanted to apply for something very important, I make sure the odds are in my favour before I apply.

My DH is more of a risk taker than me, I am not so sure about my daughter. She is too organised and she sometimes think we are a bit crazy.

That all sounds very familiar SpooreRB.

A friend and I once were employed at the same time, by the same employer. I discussed salary in detail with the Head and got mine increased by 2 pay points. My friend didn't and was most annoyed I earned a lot more than her!

I think also knowing your value is good. I can be a bit arrogant about what I offer (work wise) and once or twice, my assumptions haven't paid off. But mostly they have.

OnwardandUpward Thu 31-Mar-22 14:58:53

I have never lived anywhere apart from where I was born and I don't even like flying. A lot of people would think it was boring, but I have anxiety and am happy with my safe choices.

Gagajo I definitely agree with knowing your value and insisting on that, in the workplace. I'm good at that bit, but also like you quite self reliant. Am married but we are both good at doing our own thing. My husband is not a risk taker either, it works for us.

I know some couples where one is a risk taker and gets frustrated by the one who isn't.

Sara1954 that's good to have a flexible mindset. I have taken small risks, so it wouldn't matter if they didn't pay off. I think they would have paid off, if I had the get up and go to make them work.