Assiduous anxiety

Anxiety is giving a definitive interpretation of an ambiguous event.

Example,

You attempt to give change to a cashier and drop everywhere. They roll around on the floor and you spend an embarrassing 15 seconds picking them up. Immediately you infer that this person thinks you are an idiot who can’t even perform simple tasks correctly. You believe this without a doubt.

Why?

It’s one thing to be embarrassed about a situation, but to wholeheartedly believe you know what this person thinks of you is another. Constantly I recall embarrassing situations in which I behave like some mind reader, assuming I know what people thought both then and now.

So what’s the solution?

It’s arrogant to have total confidence in your interpretation of events. Most rational people don’t hold such strong convictions in other contexts, so why believe them regarding others perceptions?

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