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Perception of Negativity in Life

Negativity is common in life. From wrong or unpleasant thinking and awkward feelings to offenses. Rumors, gossiping, and negativity around key issues that involve our society directly. 

It's hard to get away from negativity and biases, because our world is full of noises, and misinformation that turns our lives upside down.

Defamed and Stained
Defamed and Stained

We tend to focus on negativity often because our world runs on negativity.
Bad things and negative perceptions are more powerful than those good and positive ones. Baumeister et al. (2001:355).


Nowadays it's very easy to hear or read disappointing opinions about a certain issue or topic. From social media sharing and gossipy groups of people to individual perception and negative bias. When this happens, there's someone to be affected positively or negatively by the situation when negativity becomes an item to share among people in a family or community. 

The reaction we take will prove positive or negative depending on what we feel about the comments on the topic that involves us. Negativity caused by misinformation can lead to impairing memory, stained reputation, and defaming.


Origin of negativity.

Perception of negativity starts and develops in the brain from the first early years of human life. The brain starts to respond to negativity. This mechanism is due to an evolutionary genetically inherited trait, which specifically is linked with fear of failure and anxiety. 

Research shows that; A person is feasible to become prone and very responsive to negativity bias if he /she dealt with an emotional circumstance at an early age of life. The essence of negativity bias can result from a stimulus that makes us more focused on negative things than we do on positive things. Also at a young age, we develop social-emotional skills which enable us to express the state of emotional feelings.


Why negativity?

Negativity prevails in anxiety, incompetence, prejudices, unawareness, personality,  arrogance, lack of access to key information about an issue or a topic, and even a problem related to personal past experiences such as depression, the bad relationship between people as well. 


We develop negative beliefs in our ability from feedback and response we receive. We get drained out. Feelings of being judged and degraded eat deeper, changing the way we perceive reality. 

Being bullied and discouraged makes life miserable. This fuels a storm of generalized negative emotions towards people and everything that involves society. On top of that, we lose self-esteem to be happy, succeed and feel respected.


Causes of negativity in life.


Negativity can be caused by the following:

  • Fear and anxiety. Having a feeling of fear beyond the normal situation may fuel a pessimistic sense of what is going on.

  • Volatile incompetence. Being unable to execute a certain required skill as expected, because of emotional distress, and lack of agilities may hold back personal growth. In the end, labeling a person negatively as unfit. Ineffectiveness is predicted with negativity, and so to the unprepared person.

  • Unawareness. People who want knowledge about a certain issue or topic are easily able to be misled by those who lack proper information. It is better to research before unveiling the information.

  • Misinformation. This is about information from the wrong source. The information can be unverified but can be considered as the truth. It is common these days, many people receive false information about events before they occur. Our societies have become victims of misinformation.  Negativity takes control when people are misinformed.

  • Disinformation. This refers to spreading false information intentionally. Spreading wrong information to mislead the intended group of people. This is normally done by politicians and strategists. This can cause uncertainty, lack of trust as it fuels negativity among people.


Effects of negativity.

  • Fear and uncertainty.
  • Bothersome workplace, when negativity become a common thing at the workplace.
  • Lack of self-worth. If negativity makes a person feel underappreciated, may feel useless.
  • Conflicts and underperformance.
  • A negative self-belief and social maladjustment are common to individuals affected by negativity bias.
  • Divisions among people and misunderstandings.


How to handle negativity.

  • Exercise to feel good and focus mainly on important things in your life.
  • Walk-in nature. Get fresh air and a sense of life again.
  • Cultivate peaceful mindful reasoning correctly to overcome fear and anxiety.
  • Research to find facts and knowledge, before taking action or believing.
  • Address the problems related to negativity at work urgently, with respect and great care. They normally result in low productivity at the workplace.
  • Do involve in productive work like writing, gardening, and hobbies like cooking, sports, music, painting, and drawing.
  • Don't share unverified information from wrong and bad reputed sources.
  • Share your overwhelming feelings with the people who care about you. Don't keep it to yourself, speak out and get help.

Having a positive and open mind can help to focus on the important things in life. Instead of spending much time with negative people, you can choose to spend your time thinking and doing positive things. 

Also being able to distinguish between positivity and negativity can give you a good view of things and facts surrounding the events and information you receive.


Moreover, motivating individuals who feel neglected and worthless is of great value. People affected by self-negativity need motivation, and encouragement the most. 

Creating an environment of positive perception can save a life, and bring back the energy to an individual to dream and succeed in life.


We go home from work with positivity when we feel encouraged respected and motivated. We believe in the spirit of life and energy each time we step on the next move, with knowledge of correct information.

Although we are highly likely to be diminished by negativity, we can succeed in life by turning on a perception of positivity and prevailing over negativity.


References:

What Is the Negativity Bias?
By Kendra Cherry Updated on April 29, 2020
 Fact checked by Emily Swaim

"Misinformation" vs. "Disinformation" : Get Informed On The Difference, May 15, 2020

R.F. Baumeister, E. Bratslavsky, C. Finkenauer, K.D. Vohs
Bad is stronger than good
Review of General Psychology, 5 (4) (2001), pp. 323-370
View Record in ScopusGoogle Scholar

Müller-Pinzler, L., Czekalla, N., Mayer, A.V. et al. Negativity-bias in forming beliefs about own abilities. Sci Rep 9, 14416 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-50821-w

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