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Addicted to Negativity continued

Mental negativists constantly flog themselves. They jump on something they have done or said, and won't let it go. They are ruthless and indiscriminate, focusing on their past, present or future with  ferocious criticism. This self-criticism invalidates them and often results in self-inflicted mental abuse. They, in fact, become their own worst enemy, because they are out of touch with reality when it comes to seeing themselves as honestly as possible.      


Verbal negativists believe and feel that they are helpless, hopelessly unable to change. They make negative statements about themselves, others, situations, places . . . just about anything that they encounter. Incredibly, they don't have the slightest idea that they are being negative. Quite to the contrary, they think they are accurately reporting the facts.


If you find yourself or someone you love fitting into the category of being a negativist, there is hope to reverse this syndrome. You do have a choice. If you decide that you want to change, some of the following tips might be helpful.


In Order to Change


Learn to listen to the messages that you send yourself and become familiar with how they sound. If you are speaking truth to yourself in a negative manner, work on expressing it with positive terminology. This does not change the truth of the message. For example, if you make a mistake, and then hear yourself saying, “I never do anything right,” replace that with saying, “In this situation my coping skills didn't work well. Nevertheless, they have worked well for me in other situations.” Then evaluate why the coping strategy did not work well at this time, and make the adjustments necessary to effect the desired results.  


Since negativists have low self-esteem, work on improving your self-concept. Learn to love yourself unconditionally, based on the truth of who you were created to be.


Learn to focus on solutions rather than problems. To the best of your ability, be rigorously self-honest. Accept responsibility for your own feelings, opinions and behaviors. Take charge of all situations with the goal of positive resolution. Look both to God and within yourself for guidance and direction in toxic, dysfunctional situations. Lastly, make self corrections gently and lovingly, forgiving yourself when appropriately indicated.


When these few steps of growth are followed, positive changes in the way we view ourselves, others and the world will, in time, occur. We will soon see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty.


Carter-Scott, Cherie. (1989). Negaholics - How to recover from your addiction to negativity and turn your life around. New York:  Villard Books.

Parrott, Leslie. (1987). How to change a negative attitude. Dallas, TX:  Word Publishing.  Copyright 1994, El Rophe Center, Inc.

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