Unwarranted Anxiety

Yesterday’s post on Jordan Peterson was an experiment on my part to see what would happen if I posted an opinion, unedited and written in a stream-of-consciousness. I have a great deal of anxiety around expressing myself due to experiences I’ve had in the past (isn’t everything due to those?) and I’m pushing myself to get past that. One of the problems with that post was that I wrote it and published it without even glancing over it or thinking about what I had written.

There was an immediate and heavy feeling of anxiety right away that persisted throughout the day. Although all of the comments, even those disagreeing with me, were polite and constructive, I got a pang of stress and terror every time I was notified of a new comment. I was sure someone was going to viciously attack me for daring to express myself openly. Perhaps if I had more followers and didn’t write more of my own story that would happen. Fortunately, it didn’t. I won’t say that this experience suddenly cured me of my fear but it does mean I’ll probably be more opinionated in the future to push myself.

Could I have researched my position more? Yes, and I have since I published the post in question. The problem is that many of the things I talked about are more or less subjective and allegorical. I’m in college and have access to a university library so I spent a solid hour yesterday looking for peer-reviewed journal articles on both the gender gap and white privilege but found more-or less nothing useful. To be fair, I can’t find the information that Jordan Peterson himself cites so I really have no clue what to believe on any of those issues.

That’s okay, of course. It’s perfectly fine to not know things or to be incorrect. Specifically in America, we have an obsession with being right or “winning” arguments which is completely stupid. All it leads to is people who won’t listen to any new information because it would invalidate how they’ve lived their lives. Take the Flat Earther’s for example: if they accepted that even one of the things they believed have been proven to be false, their entire belief system would collapse upon itself like a house of cards. I strive to be better than that, although I’m not always successful. Sometimes you have to take a position on something with the only information that you have.