Trap #3: Playing the Constant Devil’s Advocate
We can all benefit from playing devil’s advocate from time to time. It allows us to practice critical thinking and have empathy for sides other than our own.
But if you constantly play devil’s advocate, you can become locked in on always looking for the contrarian point of view – which almost always means looking for the worst in every situation. For some, it can virtually become a form of entertainment! Some folks eventually come to love stirring the pot to spark debate with others. What most of us don’t realize is that this particular game can become isolating and frustrating — for you and those around you.
If this is a theme for you, consider its value. Are you actually considering needed back-up plans for realistic possibilities? Or are you really just training yourself to look for the worst instead of for the realistic positives?
If our thoughts continually focus on the worst things that could happen (realistic or not), we create our own stress< — and can become pretty unkind and cantankerous in the bargain.
Once we train ourselves to look for the positives, we’ll find they truly are out there – and that seeing them is truly one of the best ways to cast out fear.
Helping people thrive in life and relationships is Shaunti Feldhahn’s driving passion, supported by her research projects and writing. After starting out with a Harvard graduate degree and experience on Wall Street, her life took an unexpected shift into relationship research. She now is a popular speaker around the world and the author of best-selling books about men, women, and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, demonstrates that kindness is the answer to almost every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.