Do your wrong thoughts affect your emotions

Negativity in everyday life - where it comes from and how we overcome it

Whining, gossiping, criticizing: Every day we are confronted with negative behavior or let ourselves be carried away. Ragnhild Struss explains what is behind it and how we can shift our focus towards more positivity.

“How can she be successful at what she does, have you seen her website? Really bad!". "The people in the training group are so simple - they can't understand how we think!" “My life is really bad. My boss is annoying, my neighbors show no consideration and the pizza from the delivery service is always cold! ”. Negativity shows itself in our everyday life with many faces. Social comparisons trigger envy - or vice versa - which should be alleviated with bad talk of what is felt to be “better”. It is the attempt to outdo competitors with criticism in order to remain in power, to exercise control or simply to polish up one's self-esteem. Maintaining a certain “grumbling culture”, in which one complains about everything and everyone, is - especially in Germany - even socially acceptable. Unfortunately, blasphemy is almost socially recognized, as it serves to allegedly feel better and at the same time to check whether our counterpart shares our attitude.

Where does negativity come from and what is its consequence

Basically, negative feelings always arise from the fear of losing or not getting something important. What this is can differ from type to type and ranges from the fear of being unloved, to the feeling of insecurity, to the worry of being fought against or not being understood. When love, peace, security, respect and understanding seem threatened, negative thoughts and feelings arise in us, which in turn form the basis for negative behavior. Basically, it is negative emotions such as excessive demands, vulnerability, rivalry, neediness, low self-esteem, aggression, sadness or hopelessness that lead to different bad behaviors. Because in order to protect against the possible threat and contain fear, we develop strategies to avert the negative feeling, accordingly they are called defense mechanisms. While some assume the role of victim, others slip into the position of the aggressor.

The problem: This type of reaction to our fear creates exactly the opposite of the relief one hopes for, namely one instead Negative spiral. For example, a person in the role of victim displays a sense of entitlement: because he perceives the perceived deficiency as unjust, he thinks the world owes him something - and constantly lives in an attitude of reproach. The aggressor, on the other hand, thinks that his negative feelings would be reduced by "letting off steam" - but the negative energy emanating from this increases in potential in the environment, and it infects others. These phenomena make you clear central point of negativity: it always rubs off on others. Because of our mirror neurons, we are empathetic and - whether wanted or not - we also strongly feel the negative energies of others. Our own mood is clouded by it. Negative people usually create even more of the same (unpleasant) reality with their attitude: True to the motto "Where the focus goes, energy flows.", They train themselves to use a negative filter, "feed" negative things in their lives through excessive attention - and create so what they get upset about, over and over again. That makes you sick, bitter or depressed in the long term.

How to respond to the negativity of others

If people around you are repeatedly negative and you are burdened by it, you are not at the mercy of it. There are many things you can do to improve the situation. First, put your own focus on not warding off the “bad” in others (such as their negative attitudes), but rather to promote the goodto put it next to it, so to speak, without paying attention to the negative. For example, say when the other person has positive experiences: “How nice that you like your meal today!” Or “I'm glad you enjoyed the evening together so much!”. Also make it clear to yourself: injured people hurt people. Basically, the negativity of others is a hidden cry for help.

Do you experience again and again how other people gossip about someone - or are you inclined to gossip yourself because someone upsets you extremely - then contrast it with something positive. Even if some people think that nine out of ten character traits are “bad” in a person, focus on and mention the one that is good. The effect of not gossiping is automatically positive: You have better conversations about real content and you build up more mutual trust, because the other person gains the certainty that you won't talk bad about him / her behind their backs either.

Your efforts to lead your counterpart in a new direction with your positive comments will lead you nowhere and you will find his negativity extremely stressful, then address the topic openly and constructively: “I have the impression that you are very often annoyed by different situations. Why could that be? ”Or“ To be honest, it pulls me down when you get so upset about XY every day. I would like you to develop a different attitude towards it or that the topic no longer dominates our conversations so much. "Are possibilities how you can initiate an exchange about it.

After all, if there are negative people in your environment who absolutely do not want to be “saved” or “converted”, the best option is usually to stay away from them from now on. Stop exposing yourself to their negative energy - because of a sense of obligation or because you don't want to disappoint anyone. Unfortunately, people who are very caught up in their negativity are energy thieves, in front of whom you have one Draw the protective limit should. It will not help anyone if after your exchange you are both in a worse mood than before and have less energy available.

How to become a more positive person yourself

If, while reading this article, you notice that you yourself are one of the more negative-minded people, you don't just have to accept it, you can do yours Systematically develop posture. We all know it: If we think negatively and feel accordingly bad, then it is difficult to get out of there at first. But over time, we can shift our focus for the better.

Start by becoming even aware of the areas or situations in which you think negatively or behave accordingly. Because we can only influence the things that we are aware of. Therefore introduce for a week Mood diaryby repeatedly recording your negative thoughts as they arise throughout the day. After a few days, you should have a fairly accurate picture of the issues that keep you negatively affected. In a next step, acknowledge that they do negative thoughts are actually just a source of information for you: namely that you are on the "wrong track" and have to change something in your life in order to be happier again. In this respect, negative feelings hold healing and development potential for your character and your way of life. Do you research exactly where your dissatisfaction comes from, what fear is at the core of the negative feelings? Which of your needs for love, peace, security, respect, or understanding is not being met? Or are you - professionally or privately - in the wrong environment because it does not reflect your innermost values? Are you driven by negative beliefs like "I will never succeed"? Or is a certain primal fear triggered by you in certain situations or a shadow part is touched? By the way, you can find out more about the subject of shadows according to C. G. Jung in this article.

Very important: Treat yourself lovingly and comfortingly! Realize that behind your negativity lies a vulnerability - the fear of not being loved or understood, and the fear of being fought against or of being unsafe. To himself in his negativity observe - instead of evaluate - Being a quasi researcher of your own behavior takes the extreme emotionality out of certain topics and situations and brings you back to the driver’s seat of responsibility. You should have a supportive train positive inner dialogue: Instead of always picking on your supposed flaws or seemingly unfavorable conditions in your head, design your thought discussions with yourself in a way that is oriented towards possibilities and implementation. Do not ask yourself whether you can do something, but rather "How can I do that? ". In this way, you direct your focus on the concrete steps and take action. Establish a positive self-image by continuously recording positive experiences and successes in writing - for example in a praise and success diary - and gradually working out your strengths of character, which you can always rely on.

If you still cannot get out of your negative spiral despite trying to work on yourself, then you should definitely seek advice from friends, psychologists and / or doctors.


Everyone is more good than bad and therefore more positive than negative in their character. Only for some is that buried under an avalanche of fear and uncertainty. In the long run, we cannot feel good about devaluing others or ourselves. The less we let our energy flow into shutting down, the more of it is available for our own growth. By learning to see the positive, we open up room for maneuver and give ourselves a huge chance to be more satisfied with ourselves and with our relationships. And our sense of personal freedom is also many times greater when we are not dragged down by negative. Try it out and inspire others in the process - because positivity is also contagious!

The most important basis for professional success and personal satisfaction is a lifestyle that is in harmony with your personality. Knowing them is the first step. With our free Trial test we offer you the opportunity to walk through it and get a first glimpse of yourself.