Does anyone feel suspicious when life is nice to you?

I’ve had some lousy things happen in my life, and times where I really didn’t know whether everything might blow up in my face. Loved ones passing away, debt collectors harrassing me, loved ones threatening to leave. And now . . . everything’s pretty much OK. Things could be better, probably, especially considering some time I wasted in unemployment/underemployment. But now I have a career that some people might envy and a good start to a pretty comfortable life for me and my family if all goes well and the world doesn’t blow up. Life seems like it’s being nice to me now.

Ohhh-kay :dubious:

Is there a name for the kind of mental state where you keep expecting the other shoe to drop, for the rug to be yanked from underneath? I know, paranoia might fit the bill. But I don’t think any one is out to get me, unless that one is life itself. It gets to the point sometimes where I’m a bit hesitant to take any action, and I keep putting things off, because of this voice in the back of my head saying “you might as well give up, you know, 'cause you know this can’t turn out well”. I sometimes feel like I succeed at things despite myself.

Anyone else ever experience this? Is there an effective way to get over this kind of mental habit?

Been there, felt that. All I can say is that for me, a couple years of getting the career going, savings up to $100k, and meeting my future wife were what it took to not sweat the small stuff. Some money is liberating. I remember being really inconvenienced and sometimes outright dangerous situations for paltry sums of money, and I mean like $20. I’ve always been fiscally conservative, and cash (not debt based).

I understand what you are saying. This was the first Christmas in a long time that did not have me in a “bah humbug” mood. I think of it as being cynical about life. When you get kicked for almost a decade in most aspects of your life, it is pretty easy to look at a moment of goodness as being fleeting and brace yourself for the next bad thing to happen. It does take any amount of joy out of life, though. This was the first New Years in many that I did not say to myself “Thank God that year is over”. 2007 was pretty good, actually and I am hopeful that 2008 will be even better to me (and everyone else, for that matter).

For me, every day further away from the badness is a blessing. I don’t accept blessings very easily, but it is getting easier with each passing day. Hopefully it will be that way for you, too.

Yeah, I think this is pretty common for people who have gone through some rough things. The thing to look out for is actually orchestrating your own failure and thus turning your feelings of impending doom into a self-prophecy. For example, you’re afraid you’re going to fail school so you quit going to class because you don’t want to embarrass yourself–and then you fail.

The longer you’re happy though, the more likely your fears are to fade over time.

Well, so far I’m not expecting 2008 to turn out well, but for no very good reason. I hope I’m wrong. :slight_smile:

Thanks guys, somehow knowing that other people have had the same experience makes things a little easier.

Yeah, sort of. If things go good or fairly well for a while you’ve got to figure from the law of averages that something will go wrong eventually.

But I find that if you go through life not expecting to be treated like a spoiled child, and you treat other people like you want to be treated, things will generally go your way. Try to keep things uncomplicated as well, bullshit you have to deal with every single day really wears you down. Either fix it or leave it.

I do see other people have a hard time all over the place, they seem to attract trouble. Women in particular seem to get bad treatment from other women.

I actually feel the opposite - when life sucks, I’m always certain things will work out one way or the other, eventually. I’m at a very uncertain point in my life right now, where everything is up in the air - I don’t even know where I’m going to be or what I’m going to be doing six months from now - but I get by by clinging to the belief that sooner or later things will work out and I’ll deal. Life has never been nice to me long enough for me to develop suspicions about it - the moment I get comfortable, something comes along and messes it all up. But it’s nice just often enough for me to keep from becoming too cynical.

Yeah, I’m with HazelNutCoffee. Sometimes I’m just unwarrantedly optimistic. :smiley:

I feel that way when things are going well. Then again, there have been enough “wow, things are going great! Oh, look, my leg just fell off, that sucks” times in my life to make me that kind of skeptical. I have learned to never say “things couldn’t possibly get any worse.”

I always find it fun to paraphrase Mark Twain, though – he said that it is better to be a pessimist than an optimist. If a pessimist is wrong, then it’s a pleasant surprise, if an optimist is wrong, it could end up in death. :smiley:

I get that feeling all the time but only when it comes to work and money.

It’s a common enough phenomenon to have spawned the proverb, “Pride goeth before a fall”, so yes, I think all of us must feel this way at some point.

In regard to romantic relationships, Alanis Morissette wrote these lyrics in her song"You Owe me Noting in Return" :

I think we do that as a way of preparing ourselves for the next bad thing to come, and I think the cure for that is to just look back at your life, see all the problems you’ve already handled, and know that you’ll deal with the next ones, too. (I still get that feeling sometimes - it has seemed at times that life knew when I was getting my feet under me just so it could kick them out again.)

I think focussing on the positive helps, too. You could talk to the person you know with the most perfect life you can think of, and if they are of such a nature, they can probably tell you a laundry list of all the terrible things in their life (as Chandler put it, "“Oh, no! Two women love me. They’re both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet’s too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!” :slight_smile: )


I think if you carefully deconstruct those events, you’ll see that some were within your control and some were not. For example: there’d likely be a causal relationship between debt collectors harassing you and a loved one threatening to leave. There is tremendous stress in a relationship buffeted by lack of money or poor money management. So perhaps as suggested by olivesmarch4th it has more to do with the choices you’ve made. Hanging onto a failing relationship, throwing good money after bad, etc.

I personally believed that it was not intended (by whom I never bothered to figure out) for me to be happy. One calamity after another and I could nod my head claiming, “see everything crappy happens to me”.

But then the cloud lifted (as I made considerably better choices in my life) and I was, dare I say, happy. I kept expecting my new love to die in a horrible accident, simply because I was “not meant to be happy”. It’s taken time to learn that there’s a balance. I remember to be thankful for all the good things happening in my life and I remember to recognize that life isn’t “fair”, life is just life.

I keep working on being okay with everything going my way.

That is so funny that it gave me the hiccups! Everyone else is getting up and I’m just going to bed…but I’ve got these danged hiccups from laughing at your post.

Happy New Year, featherlou.

Aw, shucks. {blushing} Happy New Year to you too, Zoe.