Chronic worriers are often reassured with, “90% of the things you worry about never happen.”
Let’s deal with the math first. Chronic worriers can come up with 100 things to worry about without breaking a sweat. So you’re telling us ten of them will probably come to pass. No good. Our first thought will be, “They’ll be the worst ten things!”
No, even if you improve our odds to 99%, you’ve simply encouraged us to focus all of our negative thoughts on that one item. Sort of a Hubble Telescope of Anxiety.
If you want to reassure us, remind us that conventional wisdom says we never hear the bullet that finally gets us.
We know –looking back– that most of the things we worried about did NOT happen. The really bad shit that happens in life is almost always totally unexpected. Out of the blue (or black, if you prefer). Didn’t see it coming at all.
See where I’m headed?
The very fact that you are worried about something almost guarantees that it won’t happen. It’s like a Worry Force Field.
- Worried about your mid-term grades? (Your girl friend’s pregnant)
- Anxious about the lab tests? (A 14 point Buck will jump in front of your Tercel)
- Dreading a terrorist attack? (You’ll be safe inside one of Bush’s internment camps)
The more things you’re worried about…the less you have to worry about. Got it?