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Negativity Outweighs Positivity but How Much Positivity Is Actually Needed to Equalize the Two?

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Walking out of a Starbucks in my suburban hometown, my hands were full carrying the Coffee & Frappuccino. The door opened up from someone walking in (with perfect timing I might add). They walked in first, but strangely, they didn’t hold the door open, I tried to do the stop the door trick with my foot. I managed it okay, but man, I was pissed.

My thoughts raced, “what did I do to deserve that? Did that person dislike me or even know me? What a jerk, how inconsiderate!” This simple everyday encounter bothered me quite frankly for the rest of the day. I became infected with negativity; my own reaction to this incident soured my mood and negatively affected my interactions with others.

That’s the power of a negative interaction! If this incident was different and the unknown person had held the door, the “thank you” would have followed and it would have felt good. However, in a matter of a few minutes, that positive feeling would have worn off.

Negative interactions carry much more weight than positive experiences. That’s one reason why it is easier to criticize than it is to compliment.

Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses.” – Joyce Meyer

So, how much positivity is actually needed to offset the negative?

Dr. John Gottman’s research examined successful and unsuccessful marriages. He completed over twelve longitudinal studies and examined 3,000 couples, even following one couple for over 20 years. He eventually predicted marriages which would end in divorce with over 90% accuracy.

The ratio for positive to negative interactions for successful marriages was 5:1. Five positive experiences were needed for every one negative experience. Keep in mind this ratio was from our most sacred relationships, the one’s that we have invested in the most. On the other hand, unsuccessful couples had a 0.8 – 1 positive to negative ratio for experiences.

Negative experiences simply carry greater weight than positive experiences. It’s why we remember the bad more than the good. A put-down of a spouse in front of others is much more hurtful than the warm feeling of a “nice shirt honey” compliment. The bad outweighs the good, and it takes much more effort to correct a hurt.

If we are not positive with others in a 5:1 ratio, then a strange boomerang effect takes place in which we then become negative with ourselves. We give away what we possess in our mood, and if we give away our own negativity, then the negative spiral of negativity take place.

“If you want light to come into your life, you need to stand where it is shining.” – Guy Finley

The simplest way to become positive with ourselves is to be positive to others. If we are able to adopt the 5:1 principle with others, then we help ourselves as well as others. No one can help someone else without also helping themselves. Positivity must be deliberate. Set a goal to provide five positive comments, feedback, or interactions to every one negative encounter for building a business.

How do you make sure to positively impact others day? Let us know in the comments below!

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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