What is making people miserable? No one knows. I don’t mean that no one knows the answer to this question. I mean that the answer to this question is that no one knows ” and not knowing is making us sick.
–Daniel Gilbert, “What You Don’t Know Makes You Nervous“; The NY Times (5/21/09)
Gilbert, a Harvard Psych Professor, offers some interesting observations about why uncertainty is so hard on people — often times, worse than bad news itself.
Gilbert explains why:
Why would we prefer to know the worst than to suspect it? Because when we get bad news we weep for a while, and then get busy making the best of it. We change our behavior, we change our attitudes. We raise our consciousness and lower our standards. We find our bootstraps and tug. But we can’t come to terms with circumstances whose terms we don’t yet know. An uncertain future leaves us stranded in an unhappy present with nothing to do but wait.
Interesting read . .