Dear Sandra

January 22, 2003

Dear Sandra,

I am truly Chicken Little; I always think the sky is falling. I really don’t want to be so pessimistic, but I am. It annoys my friends, family and co-workers to no end that I think everything is such a big crisis. What can I do?

Chicken Little

Dear Chicken Little,

Living from one “crisis” to another can be can quite exhausting, yet so many people choose to live like this. Handling crises for some people is dramatic and exciting and it makes them feel as if they have some degree of control in their lives. This is why they turn everything into a crisis and become known to those close to them as the “complainer”. It’s easier to look at other people and situations and find fault with them, than it is to look at their own issues and problems.

You need to take that first step and look at yourself to find where the problem is coming from. Do you have children, finances, relationships, or employment issues that are out of your control? Do you have unfulfilled dreams or a greater expectation of your life? If we are missing something in our life, like control at home or control over relationships, having control at work or in other areas of our lives can be achieved by constantly complaining about small things when it is probably something big in your life that is causing you to react this way.

Is there another way to live life that may be a little less exhausting? Handling these crises may be exhilarating and fulfilling to rant and rave about, but they are also very draining emotionally and physically. There are no switches to turn off to go from a pessimistic person to an optimistic person. Start by accepting what you can and cannot have control over and learn to live with it. Then ask yourself what does it really matter? Will the world cease to exist because of this “crisis”? If your car breaks down on the way to work, your co-workers do not want hear you complain about it all day. It’s a car, they all break down sometime, yours is not the only one.
Look around yourself and watch how other people, who don’t live from crisis to crisis, seem to function just fine; they even seem to enjoy their lives. You can too. Work through whatever it is you have no control over in your life, use a journal to express your thoughts, talk it out with a trusted friend or seek the assistance of a qualified therapist.



This column is for entertainment only. Sandra is not a professional counsellor, but is an AU student who would like to give personal advice about school and life to her peers. Please forward your questions to Sandra care of