Opinion: the tendency of being a negative thinker

CJ Coombs

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Stop the negativity and start spreading joy.Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash.
The human brain has a natural tendency to give weight to (and remember) negative experiences or interactions more than positive ones — they stand out more. Psychologists refer to this as negativity bias. (Source.)

We are products of actions and language

Take care in everything you write, say, and do because it’s an influence. Stop and think about the people you want to influence. Stop and think about the influence you want to leave behind.

Telling a negative person to stop being so negative is easier-said-than-done

I am one of those persons who say, “there’s always a silver lining,” because I generally believe there is. I also think there are solutions to most problems, but I’m a positive thinker. I believe being a positive thinker is better for your mental and physical well-being.

There are so many easier said than done situations, I know. If you’ve had one of those situations, then you also know it took some strength to get through it too. That strength builds your positive awareness. If you’re able to define your silver linings first instead of going on a rant, then you’re a positive thinker.

It all comes down to something called self-awareness. And if you believe you can’t change the way you think, you’re wrong.

People who respond with, blah-blah-blah

I tend to think these people don’t want to put in the work to change their thinking habits, and they are habits. So if you’re aware that you’re a negative thinker and you want to change that pattern, what do you do? Stop yourself from saying that negative comment. Practice saying something positive.

Why do bad impressions have more impact?

Where we work gives us backup material to think about as far as how we tend to fixate on negative thinking situations. You have to decide if you’re going to participate in gossip or not. There’s always something negative going on in some part of an office. Something as little as making fun of the shoes someone is wearing is impactful to listeners, not to mention the person being made fun of. That behavior is usually processed without thinking.

People who flock together tend to think the same, believe the same, and lash out at the same things. If you don’t think that’s true, pay more attention to the office you work at and the circles you socialize with.

You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to stand up to negativity. Shutting it down may be easier than you think at least in your own social circle. Just stop listening or entertaining it.

We really aren’t much more important than the next person, are we? It’s been my experience that most people tear others down because, for some bizarre reason, it makes them feel better about themselves.

Do optimistic people have better mental and physical health?

Optimism is a psychological attribute characterized as the general expectation that good things will happen, or the belief that the future will be favorable because one can control important outcomes. (Source.)

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) study conducted in 2019, its results suggested optimism is related to an 11 to 15% longer life span, “…and to greater odds of achieving ‘exceptional longevity,’ that is, living to the age of 85 or beyond.”

According to Activebeat’s 6 Positive Ways to Become an Optimist, there are ways you can include help against negative patterns in your life by doing the following:

  1. Start writing down your negative thoughts. Read them and ask yourself if you can be better.
  2. Start associating with positive people. You’ll be amazed at how happier you can be.
  3. Start being mindful of how you react emotionally.
  4. Start training your thinking to be more positive. Weed the negative.
  5. Start showing more optimism because it’s a positive influence.
  6. Stop comparing yourself to others. Be yourself because you’re unique. Just be your authentic self.
Words make a big difference not only in terms of how you feel, but also in the way others perceive you. “One of the biggest ways we transfer stress is verbally,” explains Michelle Gielan, a happiness researcher and author of the book Broadcasting Happiness. “So jump-starting a conversation with a positive statement can set a more optimistic tone.” (Source.)

If you think about it, the negative energy you put out is going to bring the same back to you. Negative thinkers hang out with negative thinkers. Some raise negative thinking children.

Think about the lives of those around you that you want to influence in a positive way. Your spouse, partner, children, other family members, and of course, your friends. Be the person to be remembered for spreading kindness and generosity, joy and laughter.

I have years of observing and listening to human behavior, and I have a passion for research.

Thank you for reading.

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30 years of legal secretarial experience, and a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, my life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO
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