By David Joel Miller.
How can you tell that negativity has taken over your life?
Negativity is a trap. If you are around others who are negative they can sap you of all your strength. Your own negativity can undermine your life goals. Sometimes that negativity beast creeps in without you noticing. If negativity has taken up living in your family, your home or in you, then you need to recognize it and banish it from your life.
Here are the top 14 ways to spot negativity camped out in your life.
1.You can’t stop worrying.
If you find that you are worrying all the time and about everything your world has turned negative. A little worry may protect you, but only if after considering the possible problems you take action. Constant ongoing rumination about what could go wrong is guaranteed to keep you living negatively.
2. Your life is run by should and have to’s.
A life ruled by the “should’s” and the “have-to’s” is a life drained of joy. Take another look at all these rules you are living by. Where did the “should’s” come from? Consider if you reached a point in your life where you have outgrown living by others rules.
3. You’re always on high alert – hypervigilant.
People who are ruled by negativity are often excessively jumpy. Do you startle at the least little noise? Do you frequently find that you have been startled by something that others would ignore? It is likely that you are on the high alert for the things that can go wrong in life.
This hyper-vigilance, rather than keeping you safe is misdirecting your attention away from the good and the beautiful to the scary and the negative. Work on becoming a happiness expert.
4. You are afraid to let people know the real you.
In negativity land, people hide their real selves, constantly afraid that if others knew who they really were they would be rejected or attached. Hide the real you from others long enough and you may discover you have lost you.
5. You are always expecting the worse.
Are you the person who can always see the gray part of every cloud? Once negativity moves into your life it obscures every positive thing. If you are always looking for the negative you will find it. When the good things walk by, you will neglect to invite them in.
6. You are always looking for the bad news.
People who have become slaves to negativity are always looking to see what other misery they can find. Misery not only loves company it goes out of its way to create it in every life. When you spend all your time looking for the bad news you are sending the good news down the block to visit someone else.
7. You are very sensitive to criticism.
If you are mistaken about something and someone points that out you can take this as helpful, you now know something you didn’t know before. Negative people think that if they do not know everything they are failures. Being wrong about a fact makes them a “wrong” person.
If criticisms are valid, then take it to heart and use this as an improvement opportunity. If it is incorrect let it go and find the home it needs to live in. Do not adapt every critical comment and make it a permanent part of your emotional family.
8. You can’t accept a compliment.
Related to being overly sensitive to criticism is the converse behavior, rejection compliments. If you are so negative you can’t allow a positive feeling in your life you will reject any compliment offered to you.
Rejecting compliments does not make you modest. Accepting compliments does not make you arrogant. Constantly rejecting others compliments does make you insufferable.
9. Everything is yes-but, no-but.
If you are one of these people who sneaks a yes-but or a no-but into every conversation what you are doing is making excuses for why you want things to stay in the negative realm.
10. Any change is undesirable.
Negative people are terrified of change. They will assert that no matter how horrific things are now if they were to change then things will only get worse. Intractable people are in love with their misery and afraid that they do not deserve for things to get better.
Which do you prefer, the misery you have now or the risk of taking an action and having your life become unpredictably happy?
11. You don’t try because you might fail.
Negativity tells you don’t try you might fail. Negativity lies to you. Not trying does not protect you from failure, it guarantees you will not accomplish anything. You miss all the shots you do not take.
12. Nothing gets you excited.
Live without passion is life in the negativity zone. Caring about something, anything brings positivity into your life.
13. You’re afraid of good news because something will go wrong.
Negativity tells you to be skeptical of anything positive because good things come to an end. Negative things in life can be dragged out for as long as you want them to last. Letting go is the first part of moving on.
14. You have stopped caring about others.
Negative people can’t care about others. People who genuinely care about others find themselves becoming less negative. One of the fastest ways of getting out of the self-negativity is to do something for someone else.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books