That’s News to Me
“So, do you want the good news or the bad news first?”
I bet that’s a phrase you’ve used or heard at least once before. What’s funny (not haha funny, but rather interesting) is that we are very eager to know, either for ourselves or via others, whether the news we are about to receive will be positive or negative.
And, this makes sense. Knowing whether the news is good or bad will help us prepare for what’s is next. If the news is going to be good, we feel happy and have something to which we can look forward. If, however, the news is going to be bad, our guards go up, and we go right into “solve mode.”
What if I told you that news is rarely inherently good or bad — it’s just…news. Consider news to be a bit like Schrödinger’s cat. Just as the hypothetical cat can be both dead and alive until you determine that the cat is dead or alive, the same can be said for news that you receive. News is both good and bad until we make the determination that is either good or bad.
Say, for instance, you receive the news that you have been laid off from job A. Your immediate response is to think such news is bad. However, after losing this job, say you find a new job, B, that is even better than your previous job. Consequently, the news of being laid off from job A isn’t so bad because this was your impetus to find job B.
Now, I am not suggesting that every piece of news is neither good nor bad until we know the final outcome of the news — such logic would be incredibly naïve. What I am saying, though, is that we are often too quick to ascribe levels “goodness” and “badness” to news that we receive. While information may look one way initially, it can very quickly yield completely opposite results. My challenge to you is to ever-so-slightly slow your judgment of what you hear. Allow yourself time to process the news and to understand the outcomes the news produces.