The COVID crisis throws into relief what happens when grief has—quite literally—nowhere to go. The evidence suggests that most people summon strengths that surpass their own expectations.
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I always expect the worst, that way, when things don't work out, the disappointment is not as painful as it would be if I expected things to go according to plan. And when things do work out, I'd be pleasantly surprised. It builds a protective shield against disappointment and mentally prepares me for what is to come. It saves me unnecessary disappointment and heartache. If I am looking forward to attending a picnic, I expect that there will be heavy rain and strong winds that isn't going to stop anytime soon on the day of the picnic. Maybe a tornado warning may occur. And then the picnic will be canceled. So days before the picnic, I am careful not to get my hopes up for any outdoor events. Or if I fill out an online employment application and submit my resume, I expect no response, not even a letter of rejection in the mail. That way I won't be disappointed if it does rain hard on Picnic Day or I don't hear back from a job opportunity, I won't be disappointed because I was already anticipating everything not working out anyway. On the other hand, if the weather is sunny and nice out on Picnic Day or I get a response from a job opportunity to be scheduled for an interview contrary to my expectations, I am pleasantly surprised. I use defensive pessimism so I won't be so anxious about what outcome awaits me. When I am told all the time to think positive, it just goes in one ear and out the other. I just can't stand to wear those rose-tinted glasses; they blind me from reality. Life is a bed of rose bushes. Too much optimism will make you fall into the rose bushes and get poked up by its painful thorns. Ouch. Wear a pair of rose bush-tinted glasses and your eyes will get poked out as a result of too much optimism.
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