How Much Does It Take To Feel Safe

Wanting to feel completely safe all the time, everywhere, is overrated. The optimum state is to be on your toes to some extent to keep you at your game. That said, to feel unsafe is energy-draining. When it feels unsafe all the time, the emotional energy depletion goes to waste.

So here we examine the question: how much does it take to feel safe? Safety defined from the micro scale of not feeling threatened on the street to the macro scale of feeling financially secure in your old age.

I wonder if the answer has changed over generations. Was the safety threshold for my grandfather lower or higher?

When you have to know a whole lot of more than people before as a fresh graduate just to do an entry level job, is the safety threshold higher or lower?

To manage the feeling of safety, there's the personal angle and there's the ruler/administrator angle.

The more rules/laws there are in the name of protection, there easier it is to accidentally break rules. Law is code, code is liability.

Similary and ironically, it feels especially unsafe when there are excessive amount of police around.

On an individual basis, you feeling safe has a direct correlation with your feeling of confidence.

Confidence is a function of the mental map you've built in your head of the environment. The more comprehensive the safer. Therefore feeling unsafe is about the lack of good maps.

If there's an incoming combat situation, having experienced it before (even virtually) will tell you exactly how to act.

Given a post-pandemic changing landscape, building mental maps become has become more expensive. Old scripts stop working, new ones are still being tried haphazardly.

So how much does it take to feel safe? On average I suspect quite a lot and will inflate until new norms are found.

This extend across social layers. The poor fear running out of food; the royals fear irrelevance.

I don't think you are entitled to feel completely safe, but as a functioning society you do want a minimally viable amount of it for everyone to keep one guy from going postal and ruin lunch for everyone. So how do you know when the line for feeling-safe has been drawn at the right place?