In a recent post I covered the effects of negativity. I have found that it is easier for some & more difficult for others to recognize their negative ways. I have compiled a list that may help you do some self-reflecting so that you can grow, as well as make choices that lead you to live a more positive life. This list may also help you identify qualities in those that you know, or are in relationship with & help you better understand or handle this common dilemma we all face – can we actually make a choice to be positive, instead of living with a negative outlook in life.
I know that I do not want to be a person who comes across in a negative way, & I honestly do not think that others desire to live a life led by negativity – or at least I hope not! Somehow it still prevails in many & even permeates so many peoples lives, many of us feed negativity & it grows into an ugly beast that we seem to be powerless against. If you do not deposit Gods word & His truth – you will have nothing to draw from when you need to make a withdrawal in hard times. There is no way to have power in a powerless moment, unless you get some… The best way to do this is let God in! His power can overcome any beast or darkness that seems to overwhelm our lives.
NEGATIVITY IS NO MATCH FOR GOD!
Below you will find 15 signs of negative people – these are warning signs that can help you to become aware of, so that you can avoid living a life filled or even ruled by the beast of negativity.
15 SIGNS OF NEGATIVITY
1. WORRY is the go-to.
People who live a negative lifestyle, survive by worrying — they thrive on an unhealthy diet of fear | complemented with complaining | & criticism. This worry mindset is led by the individuals need to feel in control. A negative person usually lives by a biased view of the world & people. If the first reaction that occurs looks like worry or fear, this is an easy way to know if worry is an issue in your life or someone you know.
Worry is a great indicator of the possibility that negativity rules your mind. The way you can overcome this is by practicing mindfulness & choosing to be a person that lives in the present. If you choose to keep your focus on what may happen or what could happen — there will always be a level of worry that rules your mind & heart.
Whatever is going to happen will happen, whether we worry or not.
2. They are VERY bossy.
If someone tries to tell you what you should do with & in your life — if you do not ask for their advice… You can be sure they struggle with negativity. Those that give unsolicited advice, usually do not realize it & this is a major sign that there are unsorted issues in their life… You know, it is much easier to tell everyone else how to live their lives than critique how you should live your own!
In controlling what someone else does… the negative person will feel as if their problems are being solved, & yet — they cannot face their own problems in a healthy way, so they try to fix or change yours. If you, or someone you know has issues with controlling someone or circumstances in life, or seems to become unhinged about someone else’s life or issues… this is a good indication that an individual is dealing with personal unresolved negativity.
If you have control over yourself, you have no desire to control others.
3. Growing beyond their DEFAULTS is not an option.
There is a neurological explanation as to why some people end up being so negative. It has to do with the part of the brain called the amygdala, this area is like an alarm system for your brain — it is constantly looking out for danger | fear | & bad news. Scientists believe that this is our most comfortable mindset as a human & is considered to be the brains default position. The thought process behind this is that our negative defaults are a part of the fear-flight mechanism… because of this, our brain uses most of its strength to keep up with all the bad news that is stored in the memory to keep us safe.
Positive people develop an ability to evaluate & face their problems by choosing to counteract this mechanism. Staying in the default & negative evaluation state requires no effort, & actually is an unhealthy way to live. If you are not currently creating a way to combat your normal thinking… you probably fall into this category.
We either live with intention or exist by default.
4. They live a life filled with SECRETS.
If you come across a negative person — you may find the conversation seems tiring or annoying to you. A negative person tends to be fearful of revealing too much information about themselves. The reason for this is that they live in fear that the truth would be used against them in some way or that someone may find out something they don’t like & reject them. These people rarely have the thought process that what they choose to be open about could actually be used in a positive light or in a way that they hope.
If you find yourself becoming defensive & or closed during a conversation — think about possible reasons why & try to make a decision to be open. If you are a good person & try to treat others right, even though you may fail at times, it is important to understand that even the worst parts of you can be used to help people. When a person lives a life of secrecy, no one really ever knows them. They never let themselves get too close, so all that is out there in the world are versions of the person they want people to see them as. These are the same people that would love to reveal anyone else’s secrets or private life, while never sharing their own. Negative people survive on gossip & back-biting.
If you have to keep a secret it’s because you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
5. PESSIMISM is their first language.
We all have someone we know or have heard of, that is SO fluent in negativity — they may just be the world’s greatest pessimist. The smallest issues are headliners for these people; they are the first to say, “That person is so fake | She wears too much make up | Their entire Instagram is photoshopped | He is such a player | The weather sucks | I could do their job | My boss didn’t fire me, I finally left that hell-hole | I hate this restaurant | or the inevitable – Will I ever find a sane man/woman/friend?” The problem here is that THE PESSIMIST IS THE PROBLEM. How can you ever see or live a positive life or receive positive things if you are always nit-picking & finding issues, like there is a reward for it?
Anyone can see storm clouds in the sky, on the way to the beach… or notice bad service at a restaurant. It is not hard to see issues that may arise, but what is best for you – is that you choose to focus on the positive or seek out solutions, instead of just pointing out issues. In life, most of us will face health issues, or know someone that will — We can easily notice when we are in an unfair situation. & yet, we have a choice to make the best of everything we face or come into contact with. & the great thing when you are positive or maybe concerning when you are negative, is that your health & even situations usually end up lining up with your outlook! Negative people rarely choose to have a happy outlook on life & therefore never yield a great outcome, because they always imagine how everything can go wrong… & it usually does go wrong for them.
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.
6. BAD NEWS is what they want to hear most.
Negative people love pushing bad news & horrible reports into your world. They find a way of saying things like, “Have you heard the terrible news… or, did you hear about Jenny & her husband?” These people cannot wait to tell everyone about the latest dirt or the worst news. It is their pleasure to fill you in or spread all the gory details (which are most of the time not even true). The sad thing is that exposure to negative things scientifically affects a person more deeply than we had ever known previously. Research now shows that media exposure to violence, death & tragedy contributes to depression & anxiety — as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The bad news & gossip we hear in life can actually end up controlling a person’s entire outlook on life, as well as their emotional & physical health.
This is exactly why we should limit the amount of news we watch or that we listen to from a negative person. It is actually essential to your brain & health if you want to remain positive. I often wonder the difference in outcome of those who listen to bad news & those who do not. According to the work of British psychologist Dr. Graham Davey, who specializes in the psychological effects of media violence – suggests that violent media exposure can exacerbate or contribute to the development of stress, anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The way that negative news affects your mood can also have a larger affect on how you interpret and interact with the world around you. If it makes you more anxious or sad for instance — then you may subconsciously become more attuned to negative or threatening events, & you may be more likely to see ambiguous or neutral events as negative ones.
On a neurological level, when we’re confronted with images of violence, we know that images or videos depicting violence are categorically different from actual violence — so we don’t process the input as threatening stimuli. However, we internalize the negative stimuli, which can affect mood and cause one to feel more negatively towards the environment more broadly.
“These images change our overall mood to a more negative one — more sad or more anxious — & it is this change in mood that leads to psychological changes in the way we attend to things around us (e.g. we are more likely to pick out things in our environment that are potentially negative or threatening),” Davey explains. “This can have a vicious cycle effect on mood & brain function for some time.”
7. They are OVERLY sensitive to everything.
Those who are negative are more likely to be over sensitive to comments | critiques | & criticism. These individuals can even take compliments the wrong way. They tend to interpret innocent statements & observations as condescension or rudeness. Some even tend to live a life led & colored by the choice to be constantly offended. People who choose this way of thinking take statements personal when things are said, that do not even relate to that individual. I personally think over sensitivity can be the most damaging & yet, common effect of negativity. We all know someone around us or have heard of a person who operates like this — you tend to feel as if you can never do anything right around them & you seem to almost live on eggshells at all times. If you are easily offended | get your feelings hurt a lot | or have a tendency to feel like people are always out to get you… you may be struggling with negativity. A positive person believes the best in people, even when the worst is shown to them. It is a choice to be strong in such a way, that even if someone is being or speaking negatively towards you — you do not have to speak or act negatively in return.
It takes a positive mindset to not assume or react negatively, because like I mentioned earlier — negativity is our natural preset. Even though this preset may seem difficult to overcome at times, the truth is that you can choose another way. Most people get so caught in their offense, they are never able to get past it — offense & negativity rule & control their lives. The interesting thing is, these people usually cannot even see that they are being controlled… They continue to go back to their hurt & it is almost as if they use pain as a home base. People go back to pain because they are so used to feeling hurt… anything healthy or intimate, or even real is fake to them.
To these people — everyone is out to get them. Everything is about them. They feed on negative bandwagoning for any recent because they are talking | posting | or spreading to gain as much support as they can in an offense or an injustice. (keep in mind — most of these things are made up issues in there head, or even something that was true… but has been twisted so that it fits into the story they tell themselves colored & founded on offense.) It can be hard to get someone to believe that no matter what happens in life — YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE HURT!
Being sensitive in itself is not a negative quality. Choosing to be sensitive to others, & having a heart that is easily moved can be a very great quality… but not when it keeps you “unhinged” or controls everything you do, for example; how you think | how you speak | how you act… if it is not led by your spirit, & it is lead by your emotions — it is probably not a healthy place to be.
For a highly sensitive person, a drizzle feels like a monsoon.
8. COMPLAINING is a way of life for them.
Negative people tend to whine a lot, this is mostly because they are convinced that the whole world is against them. They are usually the victim in any scenario… it could be something as simple as bad weather | a difficult job | a bad situation | a wrong decision | or even how they were raised. These people rarely are able to take a step-back to assess a situation & self-reflect. It is very important to look at factors that may be contributing to these issues you face & not just react or assume that you are simply the constant victim of the world.
When you are choosing to self-reflect, you may note that you may have a lack of energy | low creativity | you are not seeking council & lack wisdom | or you may even simply lack the ability to work hard. No matter what the situation may be, complaining is never the answer to an issue. Those who complain, choose to do so… over taking action to fix or make a situation better. If complaining is a natural trigger for you — it is important that you choose to inwardly reflect & see if the issue is not you. We all face hard times | we will all experience pain | & go through things in life, but you get to decide what you react to. Each person gets to decide if something will lead them to complain or to grow.
So often, we forget that we have a choice. The bible said that it is our words that frame our world. We are told in Proverbs 18:21 that, “we have the power of life & death in our tongue.” Personally, I believe that God did not simply make us in His image, so that we can do what we want. I think that everything that God does — is meant to be a pattern that we can follow in life. So, if God created the world with words… do our words not matter? I THINK THEY DO! Our responses | our words | our beliefs matter, not just to God — but the world we are creating is dependent on our outlook & our choice to be positive or complain.
Your world will not change — if you do not change. The way that you change your world, is by changing yourself!
If you start to think the problem is ‘out there,’ stop yourself. That thought is the problem.
9. Getting out of their comfort zone is NOT an option.
For anyone, it is not easy to make a choice to go outside of what is familiar to us. It is a natural tendency to want to stay where we are most comfortable & be the ways that are the most natural to us. But since we have found out that we are naturally by default, negative. It is important to try & be more than what is easy for us… the only way you would want to choose differently, is if you actually want to be more than just what you can be on your own. Each one of us needs God’s help to be more than we are on our own. I know that if I am trying to make choices that push me out of my comfort zone, I can grow & be better than I was previously… I think that, as long as you’re uncomfortable, it means you’re growing. The hope is that you are growing to be better & not growing to be worse than you were.
It is a fact that we will all face the possibility of fear | discomfort | challenges | or failure in life… But it is also a a fact that God will never leave you powerless, or on your own to just figure it out. For every individual, it is not easy to step out of a place we call the comfort zone… & yet it must be an option if we are ever going to be able to try new things or be a better you! If you never do what you have never done, how can you ever get something you have never had? It has been said that life begins, at the end of your comfort zone.
Somehow, people that struggle with being negative… seem to think that they are going to ruin everything or compromise their current state if they step out of their comfort zone, & it is actually true. If you push past your comfort zone, what happens is that what is or was, becomes inferior to what can be. When you choose to do more or be more than you are — you can know that things may be difficult, & yet it will only get better as you grow into a more mature leader, who has learned to lead yourself first!
Every moment of ones existence is growing into more or retreating into less.
10. ‘BUT’ is their favorite word.
The word ‘BUT’ tends to show up more frequent than we mean for it to & yet, if you find yourself saying it often, or know someone who uses the phrase many times in a conversation or situation… they may be struggling with a negative mindset. If you naturally lean towards often using the word BUT — it may mean that you need to think about why you are using that word… The word BUT negates or cancels everything that goes before it. My dad always says, “anything before ‘BUT’ doesn’t matter.” This is because when you use this word, it means that the most & more important part of the sentence is coming up after it. When you use it most people listening to you will give more attention & more weight to what you say after you say BUT.
This tiny little word is widely misused… the way to combat this issue, is to simply replace BUT with the word AND! Try it for just seven days, use the word AND instead & it is likely that you will use ‘BUT’ a lot less in future. So often, I think that we do not realize that we are even using the word in such a way that it comes across negatively. However, those that really struggle with a positive mindset say things like — “I have this amazing offer from my dream job but the hours I will have to put in will be overwhelming.” or “Things are not always how we see in pictures or movies anyway.” & even at times you can hear, “I love God, but it is just too hard to live life for Him.
The truth is that there is nothing wrong with using the word ‘BUT’… as long as you are aware of how it will influence those around us. Use it, when you want to acknowledge something negative but instead put the emphasis the positive alternative. For example, “That wasn’t your best effort BUT I know you will do better next time.” or “We are facing huge obstacles with this project BUT I know we can succeed.”
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
11. Underachiever is a word that defines them.
It is interesting to note that there is a huge gap in the quality of life, as well as the ability to achieve in the lives of those considered to be successful & individuals that struggle with negativity — A lack of success for these people could be due to many factors, but negativity is the largest cause. Negative people tend to think & believe that they are not smart enough | strong enough | or good enough to do what they need to achieve their dreams. But the real threat to success in their lives, is that their thought processes have began to control their actions to a point that it is crippling their ability to succeed. It is their choice to underachieve & many do not even see it.
A huge contributor to this underachievement issue, is an individuals EQ levels, their emotional intelligence is often crippled by their often critical & counterproductive lifestyle. I really do believe that positivity can sometimes take you further than money | talent | or even circumstance can… if someone chooses to live with a positive mindset – how they think may just help them reach their dreams. The two largest self-defeating beliefs you can have are, “I’m not good enough” & “I can’t do it.” There are many other self-defeating beliefs that keep us stuck & in a place that we feel as if we cannot win. Some face these issues because they have had unrealistic expectations placed on them as a child, but even still — many place so much pressure on their own lives & choices, that they are seemingly powerless or unable to accomplish anything of substance.
Unquestionably, when negative thoughts or doubts about your abilities or future try & come into your mind, or seem to be stuck in the back of your head… understand that their purpose is to fatally undermine you, not to help protect you. In life, it is already pretty difficult to maintain your motivation so that you can focus on your goals — & when times get tough it is a positive & hopeful mindset that will keep you in a place that is helpful to success. Most of what we want in life is not held back from us because it is impossible… We miss out because our mindset keeps us in a place that we are never able to see what is possible, so we get stuck in the cannot & will not’s in life.
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
12. Staying stuck – keeps them from ever planning ahead.
Is it just me, or have you ever noticed that people who are negative will never talk about future plans or what is possible in the future in a positive way? I have found that when individuals struggle with their mindset, they are unable to talk about future at all because they are too wrapped up in their present issues. Some of these people may try & act like they have big plans ahead of them & may even speak of them… & yet that is where their future stays — their words is the only place the future even seems to live. This kind of future is not one of faith because it has no action, & it is in fact a way for them to simply postpone the truth that they are stuck.
Being stuck is not a fun place to be for anyone… many times you will find that a person talks about something they want to do like; move to a new city | take a dream trip | or apply for a huge job opportunity. They will not do any of the things they say, because unfortunately it is all talk. These people are stuck, & negativity has caged them in their own mind. As a positive person, you have dreams — you plan towards those dreams, you have ideas & visions of what your future can be like. Positive people dream | plan | & do. Those who are negative are stuck in a dark tunnel… the greatest thing that they do to reach their dreams is talk.
We cannot become what we want to be, by remaining what we are.
13. They are professionals at SUCKING all your energy.
Have you ever been around someone & you feel like all of your energy has been drained. The people that have this effect on you may not even know it or be aware of what is happening… & yet you feel like you need a vacation each time you have been around them. These are what you call ENERGY VAMPIRES — they suck all of the good in the room & devour it with their overwhelming pessimism or sarcasm. You may love this person & see the good in them, & yet you find it hard to be around them casually.
These people are those that are known as demanding | drama filled | always about them types of people. They take the very moment you begin to talk about yourself or something you are excited about as an indicator to project negativity into a moment. Maybe you have a friend that has been through a bad relationship or faced rejection, & as soon as you get in a relationship or are happy in one, they say things like — “good luck, all men are pigs.”
They thrive on being able to suck out all your energy, just like a vampire. Every moment is all about them & they find it very difficult to not project or producing doubt when good things are happening. If positive energy is in any way stealing your attention | time | or energy… These people will find a way to drag you down their negativity hole. Their comfort zone is when drama | issues | & common pains flood their conversation, they love talking about anything that is going to keep you down where they are.
Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.
14. When Good things happen – they always MISS OUT.
If someone struggles with being positive, they will find it very hard to see joy | passion | contentment & excitement | or good things in any situation. It is normal to hope for good things to come our way, to believe that we have better things ahead of us, than what we have left behind — & yet, these are not emotions or things that negative people regularly experience or notice. It is not surprising that they miss out on the best things in life, since they are usually fixated on what they do not like, whether it is a job | relationships | & or social status.
I do not know if you have ever heard of FOMO — it is the “fear of missing out.” It makes me laugh when I think about this because it reminds me of my little sister. She always wants to be where the party is & never wants to miss out on fun times… pessimists are not like this. Pessimists continually miss out on everything, because they constantly assume that anything positive or a good time will not actually end up being good. They believe that someone will mess it up | something will mess it up | & it is not as good as it sounds anyway.
Those who struggle with being negative will always down-play the best things in life. They always have a comment or an issue that is not positive, having to do with something that is good — because of this, they end up missing out on the best things.
Gentle reminder: Don’t miss out on a good thing because your past is persuading you to not pursue your future.
15. Putting a negative spin on good news is a TALENT.
When you are excited to share good things or great news about your job | engagement | new car or house, you hesitate with certain people because you know that they will find a way to make something about it sound negative. These people will caution you to be careful, or even warn you of the dangers & tell you to think carefully before accepting. This is not because they actually care about you, or have insight into the matter — they are negative because it is where they are most comfortable. I have learned that the best way to handle negativity is by choosing to remain positive despite what others feel or project around you.
Hopefully we are always in a place, that we are aware enough to grow & understand that we ALL struggle with negativity. No one is immune… & yet, we can overcome most of the negativity we face in life, because we have strength that is bigger than it. It is sad when individuals choose to spin good news into something less than positive, but the more negative a person is — you should come to the reality that you are not like them — & you do not ever have to be. We must all be extra careful about getting caught in the hole of negativity. For once you fall into it, it is not easy to escape.
I have personally encountered moments that I wanted to be deeply negative or respond negatively. I even felt as if I had the right to do so, but my desire — hopefully much like yours, is that my life is not characterized by negativity… & instead, I choose to remain positive — NO MATTER WHAT I FACE! I want to be a person who projects & chooses a positive mindset | words | & actions… which will enable my life to follow this pattern of positivity.
Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses.
Let us take this list as a challenge to be better — let’s choose to grow & be better than we were before! The truth is that we cannot accomplish our goals & dreams while we are in a hole… so choose to get out, grow up, & let God shine light on our minds & lives so that we can use wisdom to create our world with our thoughts | words | & actions for Gods glory. At many times in my life, I could fall into one of these examples… & I know that I must choose every day, to honor God over my feelings & natural defaults — if I am going to become all that He has made me to be!
Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.
Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.