Why do we believe the negative over the positive?

“You’re handsome.”  “You’re smart.”  “You’re funny.”  “You’re happy.”  “You’re empathetic.”  “You’re trustworthy.”  “You’re goal-oriented.”  “You’re kind.”  “You’re a person of integrity.”  “You’re shabby-looking.”

Now, which of those statements stuck out the most to you?  Honestly.  Was it any of the statements that described a beautiful personality or a solid person?  No.  I seriously doubt it was.  It was likely the statement about being shabby-looking, which might refer more to clothing than to personality, and likely does.  Ten statements were made above.  Nine were positive, and one was negative.  We all fixated on the negative one.  Nine other statements spoke to the character of a person who is someone whom you’d likely want to be around, and one spoke to the condition of their clothing or some aspect of their hygiene, perhaps, and when we all saw the word “shabby”, it was over, now wasn’t it?  This is the power of negativity.  We just discounted a human being’s worth over the word “shabby”.

Now, I want to ask you, in light of the above analysis, how often you do this to yourself.  How often do you receive a compliment well and believe it?  Not very often, I’d bet, because if one negative interaction or comment has entered into the mix that day, you are very likely ruminating on that instead of the positive things that should be buoying you up throughout your day.

Why do this to yourself?  BELIEVE in yourself, and let the negative junk go.  Maybe someone said something hurtful about your hairstyle, but the only person who has to like your hairstyle is YOU, because it’s YOUR hair.  Do you see where I’m going with this?  And it’s just hair.  Now, if someone attacks your character, it might be a little harder – and certainly is a lot harder – to fend off the attack in your own mind, but you have to BELIEVE in yourself here, especially.  Don’t let anybody tell you who you are.  You know who you are.  And if you don’t like who you are, YOU have the power to change that.  You, in fact, are the ONLY one who can change that.  So pay attention to those first nine positive statements about you.  And the tenth “shabby” comment?  Stick that one in your mental shredder or your mental burn pile.  Watch it go up in smoke, because even though you’re not perfect, you don’t have to let negativity run your life.  Focus on the good, ignore the bad, and have a great life, because you only get one…

A note to you naysayers, while I’m at it, too:  Knock it off.  People need to be themselves, so let them be.  You’re obviously unhappy with yourself if you’re a naysayer, so work on yourself, and leave the rest of us alone!  You deserve to be happy, too.

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