Chapter 5 Negativity

Basic Negativity

Our Brain’s Negative Bias
“……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.
……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 downbeat 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…..
Here’s the tricky part. Because of the disproportionate weight of the negative, balance does not mean a 50-50 equilibrium…..
…. It is the frequency of small positive acts that matters most, in a ratio of about five to one.”

Article by Hara Marano
in Psychology Today;
20 June 2003

Talk about a gorilla in the room … FIVE positive acts to offset ONE negative.  We have built synapses, the highways in the brain, leading to a destination of the Niches of Negativity over Miles of Misery.


The Enemy

“‘Tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems.”
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English Playwright

The first step to battling Negativity is to know your enemy.  Negativity is harbored in many emotional moorings.  I can begin with the professed Seven Deadly Sins:

Sloth      Gluttony      Pride      Envy   Greed      Lust      Anger

These emotions and actions seem to have an ancient flair to them when I consider what the world was like when they were originally identified.  To these seven I can add, either as their own entities or subsets, the emotions of:

Guilt         Worry      Anxiety      Complaining   Frustration           Fear

I’m sure that more can be identified … Intolerance, Shame, Hatred, Grief, Resentment, Impatience … but I promised to keep this book short.  This list, for sure, indicates that attacking Negativity will not be a simple task.  Are there enough positive emotions to offset these rascals?

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. “
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American Author

Some of these negative emotions can be addressed without great fanfare, for my world at least.  Negative emotions can be categorized in a couple of groups.  One group feeds the victim part of self:

“I’ve got it so bad!”

while the other group feeds the excessive ego part of self:

“I’m better than you are!”

This is Negativity displayed on both sides of the spectrum, another reason why I strive to be average.


3 Responses to “Chapter 5 Negativity”

  1. Mac65 Says:

    I always feel drained by negativity but it helps to envision this army of positive thoughts that can overcome the beasts of negativity for governance over the land of my emotions in the kingdom of my energy.

  2. alpinerainn Says:

    I have heard it said that all emotion grows out of two root feelings: Fear or Love. Each of the other emotions can be traced back to Love or Fear. Makes sense….the opposite of Love is not hate…but, Fear.

    • papadlight Says:

      I hope you make it all of the way …. without the S-K. Once again thank you for re-energizing d’light ….

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