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bookish1's avatar

Do you borrow trouble or cross that bridge when you come to it?

Asked by bookish1 (13050 points ) July 8th, 2012

In other words, do you try to anticipate future problems, or remain unworried and deal with problems as they arise?

Where do you think these tendencies come from? Can they be changed?

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22 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Hehehe, I have crossed the bridge 1000 times until I come to it! In fact I end up “falling” and making a mess of things as I walk getting to that bridge! I can worry myself sick to a standstill stressing over future problems and not dealing with the ugly ones staring me in the face here and now! I’m afraid there is bugger all one can do about it, it’s just the way you come into this world and definitely the way you go out!

bookish1's avatar

@ZEPHYRA : I’m much the same way :-/ I was raised by a pessimist and grew up with the daily and long term exigencies of a chronic illness, so I probably had no chance to be an optimist, roflmfao.

Bellatrix's avatar

In my work, I think contingency planning is really important so I do it quite a bit.

Other than that, beyond making sure I have a will, life insurance and that type of thing, I would rather fly by the seat of my pants. I set goals but I don’t want to spend my life worrying about things that might never happen. So, worry about it if it happens!

athenasgriffin's avatar

I never worry about the future. In my mind, the best way to go about life is to make plans for the future that you want while anticipating that problems will arise. What those problems will be exactly is anyone’s guess, and I think it is a waste of time to prepare for the particulars. Just have confidence in your own ability to deal with whatever difficulty is sent your way in the moment that it happens.

In fact, worriers make me lose my patience. That sort of chronic fear is destructive, eating away at the individual who partakes in it from the inside.

marinelife's avatar

Cross that bridge when I come to it. I wasn’t always that way. It took hard work to learn not to worry.

bookish1's avatar

@marinelife: Do you have any specific ideas you can share for us jellies who get our tentacles in a twist? :)

marinelife's avatar

@bookish1 I have learned to live in the moment. Not worry about the future and not regret the past. It is surprising how much more you experience in the moment if you are not focused backward or forward. How to do it? That is the trick. When you find yourself thinking about the past, say “That is over. There is no point to thinking about it.” to yourself. Then substitute an observation of your surroundings at the moment, If you are worrying about the future, stop yourself and say “I can’t do anything about that now. What will happen, will happen.” and again substitute an observation about the present moment and your surroundings.

Good luck.

bookish1's avatar

@marinelife : Thank you for that !

creative1's avatar

I try to anticipate what could happen and plan for the worse and hope for the best, especially with children you need to be prepared for anything. When something unanticipated happens I just cross the bridge when I come to it and learn from the experience so not to repeat it next time.

Mariah's avatar

I was always a worrier. I can remember lying awake at night worrying when I was as young as 8 years old. It’s either just a part my personality or it’s a disorder, or both, I dunno. But I have always worried.

Cross that personality with my life experiences and you can understand why I’ve been such a mess for a lot of my life. When I was 14 I very suddenly started having symptoms which were soon identified as a chronic digestive disease. No one at 14 is prepared for that, and I so didn’t understand what was happening. Oh, I’m sick. They’ll give me some pills that will make it go away. Whatever.

Except that’s not what happened. Instead those symptoms turned out to be the first sign that my teenage years were going to involve a lot of suffering. And they popped up so suddenly. One week I was fine, the next I was sick. I was blindsided.

How do I keep from having something like this happen again? Can I somehow prepare myself for it so that it’s not such a shock if it happens again? I convinced myself that the only way to be prepared was to imagine all the worst case scenarios and make contingency plans. Of course, that wasn’t a good idea. Those plans don’t really help you if the worst really does happen, and most of the time, it doesn’t happen, and you’ve just gotten yourself all stressed and upset over nothing. But I didn’t realize that for a long time. I felt like worrying was something I had to do.

It took me a loooooong time and lots of therapy and also an antidepressant to get me to where I am now. I don’t dwell so much. I realize that worry is unproductive. So, you can change. It’s sure as hell not easy, but you can change.

Sunny2's avatar

I am very good at denial, so I wait for the bridge to come to me.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I tend to be a person who worries about things. I am not as bad about it now as I used to be, but I am a realist who knows that bad things do happen if you do not make plans to circumvent the problems that might arise.

stardust's avatar

I cross that bridge when I come to it. I used to worry incessantly. Now I see what a huge waste of energy that was.

gailcalled's avatar

One of my pessimistic father’s few maxims, that he pronounced on a regular basis, was “trust no-one and expect the worse, always.”

It took me decades of wasted energy and years of therapy to rethink this. Now I am happy to have today and not fret about possible cataract surgery in two years. It is amazing how one can change the mindset.

janbb's avatar

Cross that bridge carrying all my borrowed troubles on my back. But trying to learn to let some of them drop into the water….

Coloma's avatar

Mmm…both, but my personality style is the type that relies on our ingenuity to deal with whatever shows up in the moment. I am confident I can rise to the occasion and don’t waste much time futurizing and stressing about things. On one hand being flexible, adaptable and diverse is a good thing, on the other, sometimes lack of thorough planning can get me into trouble.
The usual double edged sword of strengths and weaknesses. lol

thorninmud's avatar

My wife comes from a family of worriers, and I from a family of non-worriers. To each of us, experience seems to validate our outlook: She seizes upon all of the instances where we failed to anticipate and forestall unpleasantness as proof that one can never be too vigilant. I, on the other hand, am more aware of all of the anxiety she has needlessly suffered over situations that never materialized. I see the same dynamic at work in her sister’s marriage. My sanguine brother-in-law went so far as to hang this plaque in their house: “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, and all is well”

Maybe I’m not as proactive as I ought to be, but I guess I just accept being blindsided occasionally as a fair price for not having to constantly scan the horizon.

flutherother's avatar

The things I have worried most about didn’t happen. It was the unexpected that got me.

Coloma's avatar

@flutherother Right, it always is, like my cat walking up on the deck at dinner time last Sat. with a rattlesnake bite!

fremen_warrior's avatar

I rarely worry. If anything stress makes me sleepy, I literally start yawning when I’m stressed.

Blueroses's avatar

I’m definitely not a worst-case-scenario thinker. I mean, I’m realistic (carry warm clothes and food when driving in a blizzard) but I don’t spend any time at all pondering what might go wrong. If I do that, then something entirely different goes awry anyway.

Being able to relax and handle situations as they arise has led to some of my favorite adventures and stories.

prasad's avatar

I try to anticipate worse situations…but face other unexpected…Creative God beats me all the time!

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