Politically Correct Anxiety

by Houston Vetter - DocResults on December 9,


Do you have politically correct anxiety? What, you don’t know?…

What is politically correct anxiety? It’s that sense that you should do something because you think someone else expects you to do it but you wouldn’t do it naturally so you get anxious over how they are gonna feel about what you didn’t do that you think they expect you to do.

I remember as a child in the orphanage we received presents from people (strangers) who sent Christmas presents to the orphanage. We were required to write a thank you card to each person we got a present from. I remember trying to write something personally to each person as if I knew them and trying not to repeat the same thing in each card just in case they showed it to someone else who sent in a random present that I opened. I put a lot of pressure on myself for no good reason.

Politically Correct Anxiety

We were told we had to do this as it is all a part of good manners. The more I grew up the more I realized if the energy isn’t aligned (if it doesn’t feel good) or it is something you have to force yourself to do it isn’t manners and it isn’t good. It is manipulation to someone Else’s standard and now-a-days the politically correct word for that manipulation is political correctness.

And of course trying to live up to some standard that you do not internally agree with produces stress and anxiety.

The Huffington Post recently wrote this…

“That’s it! I won’t be sending any Christmas cards this year!”

When I first heard these words, I couldn’t help but think how mean, scrooge-like and downright un-Christmassy they sounded — all the harder to swallow because they were emanating from my own mouth.

In the fourteen years since, however, I haven’t sent a single Christmas card, and at last count I haven’t lost a single friend as a result.

It seems there are two extremes when it comes to sending Christmas cards. At one end of the scale are those who genuinely want to send a heartfelt message of goodwill to their friends and family, and take time, joy and pride in doing do. At the other end are those who feel a sense of seasonal anxious obligation. A sense of not wanting the potential embarrassment of bumping into someone over the festive season who has sent them a Christmas card, but they themselves have committed the cardinal sin of not reciprocating.

With the torrential river of mail that flows through our letterboxes every December, I finally reasoned that I’d never even have a clue as to who hadn’t sent me a Christmas card — and I’m sure I’m not the only one. What’s more, if anyone I knew was to monitor their incoming festive mail with a checklist, chances are that I wouldn’t want to be on their Christmas card list anyway. For me, that’s not what friendship or Christmas are about — again, I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Click here to read more of what Mark Pacitti wrote about politically correct anxiety in the Huff Post.

Politically correct anxiety could be as simple as feeling compelled to like every Facebook happy birthday message that you get. Even worse than that actually writing something back thanking each person that wrote well wishes to you on your birthday. As I was writing this I realized I haven’t looked a Facebook today to see who’s birthday it is…

Hang on, I’ll be right back.

OK, I’m back. Just sent a few Merry Birthday wishes and we can get back to playing with our politically correct anxiety.

As you read what I wrote, I am sure you can see where the problem starts. Anxiety, of any kind and by any label all, starts with thinking something is true that you have zero proof of being true. Anxiety starts because an assumption is made. And that assumption is… “If I don’t do this people will think less of me or think bad about me.”

So if you want to correct your political correct anxiety remember, no matter what someone is thinking, it is never really about you it is about them. You are not the most important person in their lives, they are. So everything they are thinking is about them not you. Even if you happen to be in the thought.

Click here for our special holiday cure for politically correct anxiety.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie Pimm December 10, 2012 at 12:14 am

you spoke from the heart . . . I hope every day is a Merry Christmas and to remember to be true to ourselves all thru the year. . . thanks for sharing

Whole heartedly, Merry Christmas to you



Houston Vetter - DocResults December 10, 2012 at 12:24 am

Thank you for the well wishes and the same to you.
To Your Best,
Dr. Vetter – DocResults.com


Houston Vetter - DocResults December 10, 2012 at 8:22 am

Thank you Maggie.


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