Having a plan B or 2nd option reduces neediness and makes you more secure in your decision making. Eg:
- If you have a job and you know there is another job waiting, you are less likely to put up with any crap in the first job
- If you are a single guy in the dating game, if you are dating multiple girls you feel less pressured than if you were dating just one girl
- In work/school if you have a second friend group, you won’t be so needy if staying with the first group
Another way to look it is, if you only have one option, you suddenly are very dependent on that option. You lose autonomy, and are more likely to do things that go against your personality or morals or desires. If you really, really, really like just one girl/guy and want to marry them, then suddenly it’s very, very, very important for you to keep them interested in you. You lose freedom. You lose self-determination. You lose confidence in who you are.
A step further
But what if you had a plan B for life itself? We know that having plan B’s can reduce stress and make you more secure in certain situations. So if we had a plan B for life then would life itself become less stressful? And no I don’t mean killing yourself — geez.
The purpose of life for an animal (which we are), is to create a copy of itself so the species continues. The word “purpose” is probably not the right word. You don’t have a “purpose” as such, but basically we only exist because every ancestor before us reproduced — so any creature that survives this far is very, very good at reproducing — it’s in your genes, so to speak. Therefore our brain silently guides us towards doing this. It makes us afraid or nervous or insecure in certain situations. It makes us feel great in other situations. But the overarching reason behind these emotions is the same — keep the body alive — make it attractive to the opposite sex — get it to reproduce — make sure the offspring survives.
Therefore, plan A, from the point of view of life itself, is to stay alive and reproduce. If something threatens that — the brain will make you freak out. If you make a joke in front of people and it backfires — the brain will punish you for putting yourself in a position to be kicked out of a tribe. This means fending for yourself, which means potential death, which means less chance of reproducing. Of course it’s going to punish you!
But now we can have a plan B. Surviving with no friends is completely possible. We can have a great life even if everyone in our social group completely ditches us. Assuming you can still work for money — you can live in a nice place. You can travel the world fairly easily. You can try and build a business and get rich. You can have a bunch of pets as friends. You can move to near a sunny beach and surf every day. Plan B is there in this day and age. Perhaps even write it out very specifically — for some it might even be better than your current life.
The point is, knowing plan B is there, gives you the same feeling as having a plan B in other situations, like knowing another job is there waiting for you. You feel more relaxed — in control. Confident. Yourself.