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Joined: 4 May 2008
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,431
Location: Florida

26 Jul 2013, 9:58 am

I think of alot of WHAT IF scenarios walk into the woods what if someone grabbed you walking out a store alone day/night) what if someone grabbed you? If it rains on our vacation what are we going to do etc. Mom says I should be more positive not negative and saying WHAT IF.. but it's hard. I feel bad for those who these bad things happen to and they don't expect it which is sad. While I'm the opposite end always thinking WHAT IF... that happened to me? My family say they couldn't imagine horrible things happening to them or what they'd do and move on with there lives I don't I think on the WHAT IF... IMO society and the people in it can be dangerous and things you do can be dangerous and potentially kill you or hurt you.

I was wondering if anyone can relate to my way of thinking. Thank You.


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Joined: 26 Jun 2013
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26 Jul 2013, 10:21 am

I can relate to you. I also think "what if" with everything I do. My family thinks I'm going crazy and turning into those people that are building underground dens for the world ending. But I'm not paranoid like that. I'm paranoid over realistic things that others don't let enter their minds. When I was a child I was fearful of a fire happening in my house that I had mulled over escape routes. I think about things like that in social settings too, like, what if the people are mean or what if they want to ask me questions I'm not comfortable answering? Etc. I went to the bank recently to close my account and I had to plan a convo in my head of what ifs. It ended up being worse than my planned out convo haha. She hounded me about why I'm closing my account and where I was moving to and why was I moving there and if I have a job there, etc, its things like that that make me even more paranoid! Is she trying to figure out if I'm lying? Is she gonna follow me? Haha, it's crazy but whatever. You just never know.

A few weeks ago I was in a car accident and I usually watch for people in my rear view mirror when I pull up to a stop light to see if the person behind me will stop in time. Guess what? It happened to me, they didn't stop in time and rear ended me at full speed because something fell under her brake pedal. It confirmed to me that what ifs are just realistic thoughts and if you wanna call them paranoid thoughts then whatever.

Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

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Joined: 15 Jan 2010
Age: 50
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Location: california

26 Jul 2013, 10:32 am

Yep, my wife calls it "catastrophizing". I think about horrible situations happening a lot. I also tend to see other people in terms of the potential threats they pose.

I've learned to distinguish, on the most part, between irrational fears and rational concerns. There's nothing wrong with feeling them all; what matters is choosing to act upon the concerns, and ignoring the fears.

Similarly, I know on an intellectual level that even if people pose a potential threat, they also represent value, and I try to act accordingly.

Confidence-building factors have made ignoring the fears easier. I am large, strong, and trained in brazillian jiujitsu (which I have never needed to use, ever, since learning it nineteen years ago). I have also developed a calculus of sorts for power, and use it to guide my behavior.


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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Posts: 19,638
Location: South-East England

26 Jul 2013, 11:55 am

Some people do think of these what-ifs a little because it's a part of being cautious. go to the extreme, thinking up what-ifs what are not threatening at all, but what just only makes me anxious and avoidant, and are things nobody else even thinks about worrying. Thoughts like (please don't laugh):-

NT: Let's go to the woods for a walk
Me: But what if we pass people and I feel compelled to have to make eye contact and greet them. Greeting a stranger just for the sake of them passing me is uncomfortable for me.

NT: We're having a social get-together tonight
Me: But what if somebody starts sneezing/coughing/yawning loud and agitates me? Other people can normally see that I'm startled and normally laugh, I know the laughing isn't in a nasty way but it's still embarrassing.

Guh! I hate being me!! !! !! !! !! !! !

Aged 30
On antidepressants
Diagnosed with AS, ADHD and anxiety disorder
Empathy score: 61 out of a possible 80. (High)

Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

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Joined: 22 Jul 2013
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26 Jul 2013, 12:09 pm

you are not paranoid if they are really out to get you! :twisted:

That being said, one of my friends made the argument that I'm not paranoid, I just have so much knowledge in my brain that I can't help it. For example: I have a huge problem with driving accoss tall bridges, why? I know the likely hood of getting into a car accident that can cause a car to exit the pavement is pretty high, on a bridge there is no safety net like grass at the same height. Fighting against that survival instinct is difficult and as recent as 10 years ago I risked have a meltdown. Today I can drive across one, as long as I am driving, if I'm in the passenger seat, full blow meltdown will occur in 5...

edit: Fixed more poor language skills ... egads!

Last edited by xarrid on 26 Jul 2013, 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Joined: 9 Aug 2012
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Location: united states

26 Jul 2013, 12:46 pm

I dont know if I am or not but I try to prepare for any problems


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Joined: 25 May 2010
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26 Jul 2013, 3:02 pm

Well, I probably used to think about stuff like that quite a bit...usually, after the fact (i.e., I did/said something, then started thinking that I shouldn't have, and started imagining all kinds of possible "consequences" that could have been awful...the vast majority of the time, nothing of the sort occurred).

I still sometimes think stuff like that--usually of the "I said the wrong thing/too much" variety--and again, when I talk to the person later, they're like "no biggie--I know what you meant (and, sometimes, "you had a good point").

Knowing this, I don't understand why such thoughts do keep coming back--maybe because there are certain people whose presence in my life I value a LOT, and losing them would really be painful.

Granted, if they cut me off due to an honest remark that just sounded a bit harsh, then that would probably mean they weren't worth it anyway--"walking on eggshells" for ANY reason with people is completely unacceptable.

The existence of the leader who is wise
is barely known to those he leads.
He acts without unnecessary speech,
so that the people say,
'It happened of its own accord.' -Tao Te Ching, Verse 17