Have you ever been in a situation where you're just hesitant to say good things out loud out of the fear that you might end up jinxing it? Say, you've been getting interview calls to your dream job but you feel that it's better to keep it to yourself rather than sharing it to your friends and family about the great news because you're scared that it will "interrupt" the trajectory to the desired goal?
I've been in a situation where I felt like I jinxed myself to experience bad traffic, just a few seconds after I said, "Oh look, the road is clear—I might get home quickly!" From simple things like this, a sense of reluctance to utter any positive experience grows in me so I don't magically receive bad luck whatsoever.
When it comes to jinx, it's a form of superstition which could be described as behaviors that we use to provide a sense of control over certain events in our lives, particularly when experiencing uncertainty and stress. Calin-Jageman and Caldwell define superstition as irrational thoughts that connect an object, action, or outside source to a particular event and have an impact on the event's outcome.
Terminologically, jinx or jynx is a curse or the attribute of attracting negative luck and has been used in English as early as the 1690s. The superstition goes that speaking positively about one's current situation will cause it to be "jinxed", which will cause things to start going wrong and resulting in a bad outcome. Speaking positively about an inconclusive outcome will come across like you aren't appreciating it, hence making you lose it.
But doesn't that put us in an uncomfortable situation, where we can't talk about good things—since it either makes us worry that we might jinx it—or even bad things, since it might bring us sorrows and whatever misfortunes that may arise? Also, jinx doesn't happen all the time, right? There are times when you talk about something good and you did receive the desired result in the end. So, are these beliefs mere superstition or is there even an ounce of truth about them?
There are two theories about what happens once you put something out in the universe by sharing it in any manner. The first being the higher power sees you as bragging or showing off, and decides to give you a lesson by putting you back in place—hence, comes the jinx to teach you to just stay calm. The other explanation comes from the power of the evil eye, in which you attract unwanted attention and jealousy from people around you just by sharing about something positive that's bound to happen in your life. It is believed that the evil eye derives from jealousy that manifests a curse to cancel good fortune.
Fun fact, the term 'break a leg' originated from the same theory where wishing someone well or aspiring them to do well may bring bad luck to them, so people then start wishing them bad luck to potentially avert the evil eye. Reverse psychology much?
All in all, what we can learn from jinx is that we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves and believe that the universe has plans for us that might or might not be what we desire. Until that is confirmed, perhaps, we should just hope for the best without leaving room to cherish what we already have.