Archives for Pessimism
There was one bright spot amid all the hand-wringing over Facebook and its supposedly negative effects on relationships. Psychologists thought that Facebook allows people with low self-esteem, who typically are wary of the kind of self-disclosure that fosters intimacy, feel safe enough to express themselves, thereby expanding their social networks. People with low self-esteem thought the same thing. Here, they thought, I can open up, show myself, make new friends. Well…maybe not. New research suggests that rather than getting out there and making new friends on Facebook, people with low self-esteem get out there and get all negative, pushing people away.
Many years ago, my husband got a whopping case of poison ivy. It covered his entire body. Yes, all of it. And it lasted for months. In the summer. In sweaty Texas. It was horrible. He lost 15 pounds he couldn’t spare, lost sleep, and no lotions or shots helped. Finally (and scientists will roll their eyes but what can I say?) homeopathic pills* knocked it out. Ever since then, when life is difficult or just seems generally crappy, Tom says to himself, “At least I don’t have poison ivy.” Maybe that's setting the bar low, but the thought nonetheless helps him through tough times.