Monday, January 28, 2008

More on Negative Thinking

Negative Thinking

So were did that negative attitude come from? Look at a baby, there is no negative attitude there. They are bouncing happy laughing creatures unless something bad happens to them. They might cry because they are hungry, wet, messy or sleepy but as soon as that need is met, the smiles are back out broader than ever.

OK, so that must mean that this negative attitude is learned behavior. It is not something that is an innate part of us. It is something that we have learned to cope in bad situations.

So why do we hold onto it like we need it to live? Because we are creatures of habit. We are uncomfortable with change. We would rather be miserable than to rock the boat. We don't see that we have choices and we're afraid of confrontation.

Growing up in abusive families, we really didn't have too many choices, certainly we had no good ones. We have learned that if it isn't a good choice then it isn't a choice. And yet that isn't true. The power that knowing we have choices, whether good or bad, enables us to seek change.

Also keep in mind, we had no healthy role models. No one with good coping skills to model more appropriate ways to deal with life. If everything around us in negative, odds are that's what we're going to learn.

So it may not be our fault that we've gotten this negative way of looking at life but that doesn't change the fact it keeps us down. Learning to change to something more positive is going to take time and attention and determination. Just as it took years to get those old rules down pat, it will take lots of time and repetitions to learn to be more positive in our approach.

Life is a process. Hopefully we are growing and changing for the better as we go along its course. But one things for sure, we have to be able to see our negativity before we can have the opportunity to fix it. Life goes much smoother if we can see through our denial and fix those things that need fixing.


Marj aka Thriver said...

Aren't you just such a busy writing bee?! The topic of negative thinking (negative self-talk, all that stuff) is so important for surivors. Thanks for writing about this.

April_optimist said...

Wise post.

jumpinginpuddles said...

We have recently as of last night done something that wil lchange our life see our blog for details and the reason we did it was becasue negaitve thinking of we cant survive without his wage coming in stopped us from going further but the question we have are two things, how do you stop the panic of negative thinking come into play after youve made a decision and can you go through some stages from your own experience of what happens when you have made a life changing choice and how you stay set on the course youve chosen without relenting back to old patterns.

Hope its ok to ask.


keepers said...

Like you said, overcoming those negative role models and attitudes and changing our way of seeing things is so very important. on top of that we have to see opposing attitudes and role models to know there are other options, then weigh them and see which is more palatable.

peace and blessings


Kahless said...

I think sometimes you have to realise the damage it does before you can change. And positive role models help. I would love to do a survey of all types of people to see the range in which it differs. Particularly how much negative thinking well peoplr do. Everyone must do some; its human?

lawyerchik said...

I stopped by and noticed this entry - I think you're right that negative thinking is learned behavior. The Bible says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." Proverbs 13:12.

I think we learn the type of negative thinking you describe to protect ourselves from becoming too heartsick to continue..... We learn early to manage our own expectations so that we won't be so hurt when those expectations aren't fulfilled.

Good post! Thanks for sharing that!!