This Phenomenon Can Change the Way You Deal With Negativity in Your Life

Aymes Sarah
7 min readNov 6, 2020

Our negative thoughts are driven by biology but we can fight against them

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Have you ever had a day filled with nothing but positivity, then you have one negative experience and it changes your entire outlook?

This could be a negative comment from a coworker or a small mistake you made at work or home. It is a minuscule thing, yet you still allow it to consume you for the rest of the week. You start to doubt your abilities, your self-worth is impacted, and you feel incapable.

Despite the awesome things you’ve achieved all week, this one comment or mistake is all you can think about.

The interesting thing about this thought process is that it’s purposely rooted in our psyche. This is a biological response called “Negativity Bias” or “The Negativity Effect.”

This Is Why We Sometimes Dwell on Negativity

Last week, I spoke with one of my friends on the phone. She is a counselor who previously treated me and I was complimenting her on what an amazing support person she is.

She told me that my praise meant the world to her but she recently received negative feedback from a client. Although she is one of the best in her field, this incident made her feel like she wasn’t doing her job correctly.

I commented that I had also had a workweek filled with praise. However, I received a negative comment on my work that really upset me and had me doubting my abilities.

I pondered, “Why do we do this to ourselves?” She said, “This is actually hardwired into our psyche, Amy.”

She has a psychology degree and explained the “Negative Bias” theory to me.

This theory has already drastically changed how I feel about negative comments and experiences.

What is Negativity Bias?

This theory was created by Paul Rozin and Edward B. Royzman, who are members of the Psychology Department at the University of Pennslyvania.

Negativity Bias or “The Negativity Effect” refers to the human nature tendency to “attend to, learn from, and use negative information far more

Aymes Sarah

Wife, mother, and researcher of a myriad of subjects. I love to write about anything and everything! Writer for The Startup, Better Marketing, & The Ascent👊