George Carlin is probably one of the most well known cynics of our time. He’s credited with such amazingly negative insights as:
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
Some see the glass as half-empty. Some see the glass as half-full. I see the glass as too big.
Remember, inside every silver lining there’s a dark cloud.
After every horror, we’re told, “Now the healing can begin.” No. There is no healing. Just a short pause before the next horror.
Things have to get better because they can’t get worse. This is an example of truly faulty logic. Just because things can’t get any worse, is no reason to believe they have to get better. They might just stay the same. And, by the way, who says things can’t get any worse? For many people, things get worse and worse and worse.
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
Why does such negativity and cynicism stick inside our skull, sometimes for decades? Why do some people have to work extra hard to ward off negativity and cynicism?
The answer is, for the same reason political smear campaigns triumph positive ones. Nastiness just makes a bigger impact on our brains. According to a recent series of research, we may be doomed to negativity.
And that is due to the brain’s “negativity bias”: Your brain is simply built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news. The bias is so automatic that it can be detected at the earliest stage of the brain’s information processing.
Take, for example, the studies done by John Cacioppo, Ph.D., first at Ohio State University, more recently at the University of Chicago. He showed people pictures known to arouse positive feelings (say, a Ferrari, or a pizza), those certain to stir up negative feelings (a mutilated face or dead cat) and those known to produce neutral feelings (a plate, a hair dryer). Meanwhile, he recorded electrical activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex that reflects the magnitude of information processing taking place.
The brain, Cacioppo demonstrated, reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. There is a greater surge in electrical activity. Thus, our attitudes are more heavily influenced by negative news than good news.
Our capacity to weigh negative input so heavily most likely evolved for a good reason–to keep us out of harm’s way. From the dawn of human history, our very survival depended on our skill at dodging danger. The brain developed systems that would make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and thus, hopefully, respond to it.
All well and good. Having the built-in brain apparatus supersensitive to negativity means that the same bad-news bias also is at work in every sphere of our lives at all times.
So it should come as no surprise to learn that it plays an especially powerful role in our most intimate relationships. Numerous researchers have found that there is an ideal balance between negativity and positivism in the atmosphere between partners. There seems to be some kind of thermostat operating in healthy marriages that almost automatically regulate the balance between positive and negative.
What really separates contented couples from those in deep marital misery is a healthy balance between their positive and negative feelings and actions toward each other. Even couples who are volatile and argue a lot stick together by balancing their frequent arguments with a lot of demonstrations of love and passion. And they seem to know exactly when positive actions are needed. It’s the ones who don’t know this balance that wind up signing a marital separation agreement.
Here’s the tricky part. Because of the disproportionate weight of the negative, balance does not mean a 50-50 equilibrium. Researchers have carefully charted the amount of time couples spend fighting vs. interacting positively. And they have found that a very specific ratio exists between the amount of positivism and negativity required to make married life satisfying to both partners.
That magic ratio is five to one. As long as there was five times as much positive feeling and interaction between husband and wife as there was negative, researchers found, the marriage was likely to be stable over time. In contrast, those couples that were heading for divorce were doing far too little on the positive side to compensate for the growing negativity between them.
Other researchers have found the same results in other spheres of our life. It is the frequency of small positive acts that matters most, in a ratio of about five to one.
Occasional big positive experiences–say, a birthday bash–are nice. But they don’t make the necessary impact on our brain to override the tilt to negativity. It takes frequent small positive experiences to tip the scales toward happiness.
So what are the areas of hidden negativity that we are most likely to stumble into in our daily lives? Here is a list of the most common ones:
NEGATIVE WORDS Negative words produce negative energy and perpetrate negative thought which stops you from actualizing your goals. Negative energy has the power to keep you in the negative. Try to always use positive words.
NEGATIVE THOUGHTS Negative thoughts helps program your brain to keep you in negativity. This helps to stagnate life and stops actualization of your goals. Try to have positive thought to keep positive energy around you.
NEGATIVE FEELINGS Negative feelings have the power to keep you negative and stop the positive energy vibrations. Try to think, act and feel positive. Let go of significance, expectation and attitudes. Learn forgiveness for yourself and others. Look at things half full instead of half empty. Acknowledge your negative feelings and then let them go and be grateful and joyful.
INDECISION No decision is still a decision. Indecision delays the benefits of change, erodes self-trust and self-confidence. Remember there are no mistakes or wrong decisions- just growth experiences. If you don’t get the results you want there’s more to learn. Just trust that what is meant to happen will happen at the right time for you.
ATTACHMENT TO PAST Fretting about the past stops positive thought, stops your focus on what you want and perpetrates disillusionment. you from living in the moment. The past is gone. It’s over. Try to Live in the Moment.
ATTACHMENT TO FUTURE Worrying about the future is a needless negative energy. There are so many variables you can’t really predict the future. Worry delays action, stops goals and positive opportunities. Try to live in the moment. and work towards your goals every day. Focus on the intention of getting what you want in the future. That’s using positive energy.
MY WAY IS THE ONLY RIGHT WAY The insistence of being right all the time shows a very small view of the world. It is usually based on anger or blame. It creates a false sense of safety and independence, but stops communication, awareness of new changes and the ability to make choices. Be open to new viewpoints, expand your spiritual perspective, live in the moment, try better communications with others and try to get along with other people and appreciate their views.
DOUBT Having continual doubts is a negative energy pattern. Doubt delays life, growth and takes away your personal power. It usually comes from lack of self-trust or trusting others. You are probably setting up specific attitudes, outcomes or adhering to false social beliefs. Doubt grows negative thought and feelings. Believe in yourself and realize there are no mistakes. Whatever you want can be achieved so take action. Maintain hope, trust and use your intuition.