Is it unhealthy to expect the worst in a situation?

I notice I do this often if I'm waiting for news or have to do something important. It's like a defense mechanism to prepare me for the worst. Then what does end up happening is pretty much always better than the nightmare I've concocted in my head.

Is it very unhealthy to go through life this way? I feel like it has made me a very prepared person but at the same time, when I'm in the process of waiting for the end of a situation, I notice I often experience I lot of anxiety and stress.

Yet there's also a kind of solace in expecting the worst, because in the back of my mind it's like part of me knows I'm overthinking and will abundantly prepare as a result. Maybe there's a happy medium in this type of thinking? Does anyone else think this way when dealing with situations in life?

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Preparing and expecting is not the same thing. If you're worried about something, it's reasonable to consider the worst-case scenario and what you would do about it, BUT also the odds of that happening. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    phony baloney psychologists who are usually more screwed up than their clients might call this a "negative attributional style". I have it as well. In spades, actually. PTSD will do that to you.

     But i've also read that it's kind of the default biological mechanism for human beings and it has served an evolutionary purpose over the ages because in survival situations we always had to be very aware of potential dangers lurking in the environment and be prepared for them, so we couldn't afford to be too happily oblivious and casual about everything. The saber-toothed tigers always took those types out first...

    BTW, that's the real danger of psych drugs that lobotomize people so they no longer feel anxiety or much of anything, for that matter. Apathy is the real danger. If you're not on the ball and don't have a bit of an anxiety-induced edge to you, you're more likely to succumb to dangers. Got to be sharp. When I lived in NYC back in the day, I couldn't afford to take psych drugs because everytime i tried them, they would numb me too much to be able to take care of myself in the concrete jungle. I had to be ready to fight, even physically, when the occasion demanded.

    So any psych drug that numbed me off, I would stop taking it. When I moved out of the city to a 'safer' environment, I lost that edge, and I was a ripe victim for psychiatry with its drugs. That was my undoing. Since i didn't have to worry about street survival, I felt more comfortable taking the drugs. And those drugs destroyed me. So I no longer take them.

    Never give over your control to others. That's my word of advice. Not to a shrink, not to a pill, not to a relationship even if you can avoid it. It's okay to be suspicious and even 'paranoid'. Sometimes it can save your life.

  • 2 months ago

    By always expecting the worst, you are only hurting yourself, and most importantly – thinking this way won't protect you from bad things happening. There is no actual value of such thoughts, and they do not prove you care or are being responsible.

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