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Suspicious Minds

Have you ever been the object of someone else’s unfounded suspicion? Wait, I will answer that for you. Yes. Yes you have, whether you were aware of it or not. Or maybe I’m just paranoid (paranoia = major league suspicion).

Don't blame them for their suspicion. It's not their fault but their lizard brain's doing, of course. And suspicion is a big-time Invisible Mind Block.

When assessing another person, the lizard brain does two things: 1) looks for intention 2) assumes the worst.  

Yeah, it's kind of a jerk sometimes. And that adds up to a heaping dose of suspicion.

Suspicious Attachment

We have a natural attachment to suspicion because it is another one of our threat avoidance impulses designed to keep us alive in the dangerous wild, but now often serves counter to our best interests.

We actually love suspicion as a spectator sport. That's one reason mysteries are so popular and why comedies often use misplaced suspicion as a plot device and some of the most memorable characters are those that are always suspicious. (I'm looking at you Frank Burns, Claire Dunphy, Archie Bunker, and Lucy Ricardo).

Big suspicion = Big Problems

Because of this natural tendency to be suspicious of new people and situations, we often project our doubts on whole groups of people, causing social ills like racism, sexism, generation-ism, and nerdism. (Are you suspicious that I made that last one up? Admittedly guilty this time).

“Pure love and suspicion cannot dwell together: at the door where the latter enters, the former makes its exit.” ― Alexandre Dumas

Caveat - Reasonable suspicion and caution is necessary at times, but the key is "reasonable" which by definition means it is the result of conscious "big brain" thought, not lizard brain fallacy.

Beat It

To avoid the cycle of mistrust that suspicion can thrust us into, we need to assess each of our suspicions as they appear to determine if they have an actual basis in reality or are just primitive impulses that we can overcome.

And overcoming this Invisible Mind Block is something we must do if we want to form and nurture meaningful relationships at work and home, and make decisions that are free from the poison of unfounded mistrust.

So instead of making someone earn your trust - assume it until they actually earn your reasonable suspicion. The rewards in newly forged and deepened relationships can be great and rewarding.

Think well and be well.

- Steve.


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