NOTE: If you missed the first two parts of this series, here are the links:
Part 1 Stress And The 2016 Presidential Election–What Won And What Lost?
Part 2 Stress And The 2016 Presidential Election–Post Election Dishonesty
I’ve been helping people reduce their stress for more than 30 years now—way before the2016 Presidential election and all its stressful aftermath.
I have particularly excelled at helping people better understand and overcome their stressful negative emotions.
Whether they are being consumed by anger, ravaged by anxiety or panic attacks, haunted by guilt, paralyzed by worry, or just deeply entrenched in sadness or despair, the root cause of all human emotional suffering is always the same.
The root cause is DISHONESTY…that’s always what it is.
Dishonesty and Emotional Stress
Now most people alive today, even highly-educated and successful folks, do not understand this key principle.
There is actually very little true emotional intelligence in our society today.
And you can see this fact on full display in how millions of disappointed people are responding to Donald Trump’s election.
While each of the different negative human emotions (anger, anxiety, guilt, etc.) may have different cognitive and behavioral underpinnings, they all stem from thought patterns that are not completely true and from behavioral responses that are not ideal or effective.
Dishonesty And Anger
Let’s take anger for example.
There is lots of anger being felt by people who opposed Donald Trump.
What is the basis for this anger?
Well, anger always comes from three main assumptions:
- Somebody did something bad or wrong (i.e. something they shouldn’t have done);
- Somebody was hurt, harmed, or otherwise negatively impacted;
- The other party (not me) was unilaterally responsible (i.e. to blame) for #1 and #2 above.
This is what is fueling all the anger in the protestors, rioters and other folks who are still seething at the election of Donald Trump.
But how true are each of these specific assumptions?
Did somebody (Trump, the GOP, the American voters, the Russians) really do something wrong? Was it not a fair election? Do people not have the right to vote the way they want? Is it fair to demand the rules be changed (i.e. electoral college vs. popular vote) just because your side lost?
How about assumption #2—was somebody really hurt, harmed or negatively impacted?
Well, I guess you could say that the Left had their feelings hurt, their expectations dashed, and they did lose the election and some of their power base, but were they really harmed as individuals in this process?
Are they really going to be hurt if Trump boosts the economy, reigns in illegal immigration, and makes our streets and cities safer and less violent? I don’t think so.
And what about the assumption that those who are angry had nothing to do with Trump getting elected?
If you didn’t vote, you had something to do with it.
If you voted for some other candidate than Trump or Clinton, you had something to do with it.
And did you back a fatally flawed, totally dishonest and corrupt person in Hillary Clinton, expecting that millions of decent Americans would simply overlook these flaws and rush to support her?
Suck it up, Buttercup.
Your anger is based in DISHONESTY.
And while you have a right to feel angry anytime you want, you might want to consider that if you are still feeling angry about something that isn’t true, or that didn’t really happen, your anger is not legitimate and you are a dishonest fool for thinking (and feeling) that you are justified in holding on to it.
Dishonesty And Anxiety
The same thing is true for all the anguish and anxiety felt by so many people in the wake of Trump’s election.
In order to feel anxious, you must believe (wholeheartedly) in each of the following assumptions:
- Something bad is going to happen;
- Somebody (including me) is going to get seriously hurt or harmed:
- I (we) don’t have the power to stop #1 and #2 from happening.
So how is all this anxiety (about mass deportations, loss of civil rights, big government persecution, nuclear warfare, etc.) being driven by pure DISHONESTY?
Well, for starters, anxiety itself is always a DISHONEST emotion.
That’s because you are reacting with fear to something THAT HASN’T HAPPENED YET! It is all future based, and you don’t really know if what you fear will happen or not.
In fact, your own experience should inform you that a high percentage of all the things you’ve ever been afraid of never come true. You have a lifetime of experience to validate this fact, yet you continue to believe that all your anxious feelings are based in truth and/or reality.
Is Donald Trump going to deport 11 million mostly law-abiding illegal immigrants? I seriously doubt it. He probably will deport major criminals who are here illegally, but is this really a bad thing in and of itself?
If you are an American citizen, is Trump going to take your right to vote away? Is he going to strip you and millions of other Americans, many of whom voted for him, of other basic rights of being a citizen? Of course not.
On the other hand, if you are an Islamic terrorist in this country, waiting to plan or execute an attack, then maybe you should be anxious because he is coming after you. The same is true for ISIS proponents all around the world.
But give me a break. If you are a decent, law-abiding citizen or even an illegal immigrant who has been here for many years, you have nothing to fear but your own fearful thinking itself.
Dishonesty And Widespread Sadness/Grief Reactions
We’ve also seen a tremendous outpouring of tears, sadness, grief and horror expressed over the election of Donald Trump as our 45th President.
Sadness is an emotion that results from thinking this way:
- I have lost something very important;
- I will never get back what I have lost;
- I can’t feel happy or fulfilled without what I have lost.
If you look at this triad of assumptions carefully, you will see that it is very rare (if ever) for all of them to be true.
Much of the time, we lose something and think that our loss is much more important than it truthfully is.
For example, you’re in a bad relationship and the other person final dumps you. You feel sad and lonely like you have lost something really important? But did you really? What you lost was a bad relationship and what you gained was an opportunity to create a new and better one. That’s the real truth, not that you lost something highly valuable and irreplaceable.
So why are people feeling sad or despondent that Trump got elected?
What did you lose that was so damned important?
Your idealized fantasy of the Democratic party as a dominant, relevant political party? Your dream of a first female President (which eventually will come true) because a person totally undeserving of this honor was soundly defeated and shown the door?
And once again, is your life really going to be damaged by having Trump and the GOP gain control of the political process.
The answer may be yes if you are part of the “swamp” that’s about to be drained, but you’ll just have to suck it up and find new things to do or new causes to support.
So the truth of the matter is that there’s not a whole lot of truth telling going on, especially is those who have been (and continue to be) emotionally devastated by Donald Trump’s election.
To my way of thinking, TRUTH TELLING was the real victor in this election, and DISHONESTY was absolutely the loser. It wasn’t really about Trump and it also wasn’t about Clinton either.
So if you are a person who is not accustomed to telling the truth, or who has somehow justified (in your own mind) lying to advance your agendas, then you probably will be upset by the election of Donald Trump as our next president, and you have nothing to blame but yourself and your own basic DISHONESTY for how you feel.
Hopefully you can learn something important from the 2016 Election, but if history is our guide, it’s unlikely you will have the courage or honest self-reflection to do so.
To your health, happiness and success,
Dr. Mort Orman, M.D., International Speaker, Author And Founder Of The Stress Mastery Academy