Saturday, April 16, 2011
According to psychologists, the brain is more sensitive to the unpleasant than it is to the pleasant; it has a “negativity bias.” Studies have shown that the brain experiences a greater electrical
surge when exposed to negative stimuli than when exposed to stimuli deemed to be positive or indifferent. Some psychologists believe the negativity bias is a form of survival instinct; it helps
us recognize danger as quickly as possible—so it can be avoided just as quickly. (excerpt from the book, Taking the Mystery Out of Business, by yours truly)
When I was younger, I used to believe that a positive person can bring a negative person up. In reality, the opposite is true.
Negative thinkers suck all the energy from their environments, especially at work. They complain, they whine, and they criticize—endlessly. If the sun is shining, it’s too bright and reflects off their computer monitors. If it’s raining, the lack of sunshine causes their depression. If everyone in the office is laughing and having a good time, they’re being too loud and disruptive. If everyone in the office is quiet and focusing on their work, they’re ignoring the negative thinker. (yep, another excerpt)
I knew a man once, who blamed the world for everything in his life he didn't like, or that he perceived to be holding him back: his left-handedness, his ethnic background, even his body shape and proportions. These factors, he claimed, set him apart from everyone else and set him up to be a victim.
I don't view life from the same perspective. Although I write with my right hand, I am otherwise left-handed--which makes many tasks that much easier for me. My ancestors were abused and neglected hundreds of years ago and I actually had a business associate once tell me how she didn't care for "the Irish" at a networking event. (She made the mistake of overlooking the fact that my married name is representative of my husband's ancestry--not mine--and that he, not I, am a compatriot of hers.) And although I wish I weren't so height-challenged, there's not much I can do about it. I have other physical attributes (i.e., curly hair) that make up for it.
The "N" feature on my personal blog is about the word "No." Many people consider the word "no" to be negative and, oftentimes, it's not. Especially when you say No to Negativity.
Let's start a campaign to outlaw negativity, pessimism, and whining. What do you say?