4 Reasons Why People Are Addicted to Negativity
By Andrea Schulman, December 2015
Have you ever wondered why certain people in your life cling to negativity? We all know a few individuals who never seem to have anything positive to say. It’s as if they are addicted to negativity!
The truth of the matter is that negativity is indeed addictive! It is a habitual behavior that can help people avoid short-term pain while simultaneously providing short-term pleasure, just as any addictive substance would.
Here are a few reasons why people are addicted to negativity:
1. It’s what’s familiar:
Many of us have been raised to be somewhat negative. As we’ve grown, we’ve spent years and years complaining, being fearful and focusing on the negative.
For this reason, it can be a challenge to become a more positive person, even when we try to do so!
Old habits often die hard, so it takes a bit of dedication for many of us to evolve into positive people. As with all addictions, once a behavior is engrained it takes conscious effort to change it.
2. It helps you “fit in:”
If you look around, negativity is the status quo for much of society.
You may haven noticed that it is often easier to strike up a conversation with other people regarding the problems in your life rather than the joys. For example, telling a friend about your illness is likely to yield you more sympathy and attention than telling the same friend about something good that happened to you today.
In fact, in some circles being especially happy and joyful is actually looked down on. If you have too many good things to say it’s possible certain people will accuse you of being naive or (even worse!) insensitive.
So, when we complain, we often get more social approval and attention than we do with positivity, and this feels good in the short term! For this reason, being negative can be rewarding, just like any drug or addictive substance.
3. Taking responsibility is painful for the ego:
When we complain and point fingers, we avoid taking the “blame” for the negative circumstances in our own lives and this protect our ego. Being negative allows us to feel like victims of circumstance rather than masters of our own destiny when bad things happen to us.
Now, while taking responsibility is actually a very empowering and liberating experience, many people know nothing about this. Therefore, someone who is unaware of the power of taking responsibility will often use negativity to avoid the perceived pain of being the one to blame.
4. Negativity is reinforced through the Law of Attraction:
With the Law of Attraction you get what you focus on, so when you complain you simply get more of what you are complaining about. Through this constant attraction of negative events and circumstances, many people feel validated in being negative. In a negative person’s life there is literally more to feel negative about!
So, as a person encounters negative events, they lean on negative behavior to cope with the pain of responsibility and gain social approval and attention. Then, their focus on the negative creates more negative events and circumstances, and therefore more opportunities to avoid pain and gain social approval and attention.
It becomes a vicious, habitual cycle, and for many people it’s a cycle that lasts an entire lifetime.
As you can see, people who are addicted to negativity aren’t necessarily “bad” people. Instead, they are simply stuck in a habit that is consistently reinforced through social approval and attention and helps them to avoid the pain of responsibility.
The good news is that although many people are addicted to negativity, they can change (and some of them actually do!). Through learning about the Law of Attraction and gaining conscious awareness, many people find the desire to release the ego, and focus more on the positive.
When you become more positively focused, life becomes easier and more enjoyable, and the short-term benefits of negativity become far less attractive and appealing. When we are weaned from the negativity we find that the rewards of positivity are far greater!
So, have you made the choice to become a more positive person? Comment below and share your story!
Thanks for reading,
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