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Why do we enjoy worrying about hypotheses?

And how to stop this sadistic mental game.

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

I could be called an expert on the subject, really.

Making movies. Inventing future scenarios from a shaky present.

We invent a frightening sequel, which seems logical to us, based on purely subjective perception. In spite of ourselves, we lock ourselves into our mental straitjacket.

Our hypothetical future seems so obvious to us in the light of events just past that it is difficult to get out of it. Our mind reacts strongly to an overdose of poorly controlled emotions.

This future based on our own assumptions, according to our only point of view, without putting it into perspective, can do us no good. And this future can in no way become reality.

Haven’t you ever noticed that these mental scenarios rarely come true? That their implementation generates much more anxiety than its hypothetical realization?

We almost falls into mental sadism in spite of ourselves.

We fall into our own mental trap, under the guise of anxiety.

Expert, we said? Yes, because this pattern is recurrent, if not regular. Like a good dear routine that accompanies us in our day-to-day life. A toxic routine goes without saying. A psychic routine over which we have very little control.

But wouldn’t we enjoy making these mental schemas in the end?

We must admit, in spite of ourselves, that we find some immediate pleasure in inventing these fatalistic scenarios.

Even if they are frightening in nature (this is the bias I have chosen in this article, but these scenarios can on the contrary be far too utopian in the face of the situation in an objective way), these scenarios reassure us in the end. They foretell the worst so that we can prepare ourselves for combat. How benevolent they are…

In reality, these mental ruminations weaken us and give us a completely false reality.

Creating these scenarios locks us into a prospective reality that is far too narrow to be plausible. It’s our somewhat self-centered nature that pushes us into this tendency (no hard feelings, we’re all full of flaws after all).

But if we take a step back, if we ask the facts and not the emotions, we’ll realize that our mental predictions are only one possibility of scenario among many others.

Have you ever predicted one or two fatalistic scenarios and ended up with a completely incongruous one? I have. I would never have thought of it and yet it happened.

Predicting reactions because you think you can decipher the whole person is a deception. Predicting a situation without taking into account exogenous facts that are out of our control is denial. Predicting an event without taking into account the hazards of life is ignorance.

So, in the end, one could deduce that making assumptions about an uncertain future is just a waste of time and energy (no kidding, we already knew that mate).

To have been an expert (always be one, but less so, let’s not get stuck in our own blockages), I should say that I learned some tips to get out from this psychic scheme.

When emotions arise, I let them express themselves a bit but not by ruminating, more by feeling deeply those emotions. We heard that many times, but it is true for me: respiration.

Then, I try to calm down those emotions while breathing in and out for a few minutes. Feel the present and not a hypothetical future.

And finally, I take a step back regarding the situation. I try to understand it from my point of view, for sure, but also from others’ points of view. Please, let’s show some empathy! Emotional Intelligence is the future.

Sometimes I use “testimonials(a bit of drama) from people who know the context and others who do not. Just to have all the elements in a purely objective way. There will be plenty of time to reintegrate the subjective afterward, with balance. Always with balance.

But when the situation was too heavy to carry emotionally, and I was unable to let go of my emotions and mental ruminations, I agreed to get help from professionals who know how to untie these mental knots.




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French Digital Marketing Manager living in Madrid & English Writer about emotions, leadership & marketing. My world’s point of view with a pinch of sarcasm.

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