Monday, July 23, 2018

Only the Worriers Survive

I’ve been working on shifting my perspective on negativity and complaining. Overall, I’ve been avoiding anything and everything angry lately, especially in the toxic political arena. 

But I have become aware of my own negativity in my efforts to be positive. Is it possible that my own negativity is influencing the way I perceive? Absolutely! Because we see things as we are, not as they are. 

So I asked myself how can I see things differently? How can I change my negative perception of the toxic atmosphere around politics? And even and especially the people  presenting the negativity?

So far here’s what I’ve come up with: 

Human beings are wired to be negative. Yes, we are. We are wired to worry and to project and to assume the worst. Why am I so sure? Because the earliest humans who assumed the noise in the bush was a long-toothed hungry tiger got the heck out of there and survived. 

The easy going fellow who laughed it off was eaten. 

So even if the overly worried and anxious guy was wrong 19 out of 20 times, he was right when it counted and lived to pass on his worry genes.

The guy who was relaxed and was right 19 out of 20 times got eaten because he was wrong just one, very crucial time.

So here’s my new outlook: it’s human nature to assume the worst. It’s okay because it’s part of who we are and how we have survived this long. It only makes sense that this doom and gloom outlook on life would reach a fever-pitched crescendo in social media. 

We are wired to worry. 

The pay off for changing my perspective? I can let go of my frustration and hurt feelings. I can just let it go. My friends' political posts are all about spreading the word; they’re just looking out for me. 

I can be grateful that friends are giving the high alert signal because that’s what tribe mates do: alert each other of danger and look out for one another. 

BUT I also recognize that this is our human tendency and that 19 out of 20 times the perceived danger is not real. It’s wise to be cautious, but it’s not helpful to constantly be terrified.

While I’ll still take precautions to not get caught up in the toxicity, I at least can peek at my friends' timelines again with a new understanding and less stress. 

What do you think? 

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