A belief in negative thinking as something affirmative would often shock people around us. At first, hear, it does surprise me too – but let's be honest, is it that bad?
“We should focus on positive things!” is a sentence heard quite consistently, but why would we always think positively?
Do not get me wrong, positivity is not always false, but remember the famous sentence: “Too much of anything is bad.” We all love seeing someone smile as much as we love that “sun ray” friend who comes to make us warm and happy when needed. Positivity is great too!
Our society always tends to fit in the elites; that's not unknown, right? According to Oberlo, a statistics website, it's shown that 59.3% of the population uses social media. All those influencers seem happy, joyous, and like there's no bad in this world. You may call me a pessimist, but it's primarily fake – we all have moments when we feel down.
After all, trying to show yourself in your best light all the time is exhausting and draining, as well as a leading cause of ignoring the thoughts happening on a deeper level.
Negativity bias – what is it?
Naturally, humans tend to give more importance to negative experiences than to positive ones – that is negativity bias.
While many psychologists have talked about this phenomenon, I would select a psychologist Rick Hanson, who gave a perfect example and a reason for this.
“As we evolved over millions of years, dodging sticks (threats) and chasing carrots (food), it was a lot more important to notice, react to, and remember sticks than it was for carrots. That's because – in the tough environments in which our ancestors lived – if they missed out on a carrot, they usually had a shot at another one later on. But if they failed to avoid a stick – a predator, a natural hazard, or aggression from others of their species – WHAM, no more chances to pass on their genes.”
See, it's pretty normal to feel negativity. But there is more!
Negative thinking can help you see the world more realistically
It's generally a good thing to stick with a chosen job or personal path despite challenges, except when it isn't. Sometimes it makes perfect sense to concentrate your energy on a new venture and give up unrealistic dreams and objectives.
You always wanted to be a doctor, but you can't – you either don't have the grades or your parents made you go to medical school. You have to be realistic. It's not something you can currently do, and that's it. Low self-esteem can make you realize this, but that's another story.
Negative thinking prepares you for the worst
We live in a digital era. Dating apps are all around! Let's say you meet someone there; you swiped and matched and decided to meet up. How do you feel? Were you scared or happy? I'd feel scared – you've seen the news. It's simply not safe, and we are often very naive.
Now, what would a negative thinker do? They are probably preparing for the worst. If everything goes well, why is there anything to worry about? Try to see the bad in things so you can enjoy more in the good ones!
Of course, don't get me wrong, be happy, but not right away – the more years go by, the more dangerous this world is – especially the digital meet-ups.
A significant drawback of the optimistic movement is that, when taken to an undesirable degree, optimism can become detached from reality and unhealthy.
Founder of the positive psychology movement and the University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson distinguished between realistic optimism, which expects the best while being aware of potential hazards, and unrealistic optimism, which dismisses such concerns, in a 2000 essay.
Negative thinking lowers your expectation.
Another issue with being taught that we can be, do, and have anything we desire is that this way of thinking raises our standards to unreasonably high levels and frequently gives us a sense of entitlement.
To further complicate matters, whether or not the world meets our expectations, we frequently base our satisfaction on these outside circumstances. However, the universe owes us nothing, and irrationally high expectations are rarely fulfilled.
This will only lead to disappointment. It's more beneficial to scale back, if not do away with, our expectations. We've eliminated one of our primary sources of misery and given ourselves a chance to be pleased where we are if we do not depend on our happiness on whether or not our expectations are realized.
All these positive sides have their negatives too! You have to be conscious that everything has its pros and cons. We all have good and evil in us. This article has its good and bad things. But this is precisely why I wrote it – for you to become realistic, conscious, and liberal of all the manipulations around you.
Think positive, think negative – find the mid-line and go with it. You certainly won't be wrong, and nor will you be surprised or disappointed.
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*An article was prepared and written by Balša Kićović, Textual Content Director.