PUTTING UP THE BARRICADES 

I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun” by Gretchen Rubin –

“It’s not often that I find myself telling Bob that he’s being overly optimistic. He emphasizes the importance of rational, probabilistic decision making, and he practices this discipline himself, with yellow notepads with “pros”and “cons”columns, a habit of gathering multiple viewpoints, a detached “Markets go up, markets go down”outlook. In this situation, however, he chose to take an optimistic view of the evidence. Why argue with him? I didn’t agree with his view, but I’m no doctor, what did I know? 

My new aspirations for my behavior were high but not unreasonable. I knew that my combativeness and pedantry in this conversation came not from petty irritation but from a desire to protect myself against false hopes. Bob was taking the positive route, and I would have felt better if I’d let the issue go without arguing. I’m sure I made Bob, and certainly Jamie, feel worse by saying discouraging things, and being quarrelsome just made me feel bad. Fight right—not just with your husband but with everyone.”

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