Recently I heard (or read) the same statement made by three different reliable sources but I was still surprised.
It seems that for every negative thing that is said or done to you it takes five positive things to balance it out! Not one, not two — but five!
That’s a lot to ask.
Apparently it has to do with our brains and how they work. The book “How We Decide” by Jonah Lehrer was one of the sources of my revelation. It says, “Loss aversion is an innate flaw. It’s part of a larger psychological phenomenon known as negativity bias, which means that for the human mind, bad is stronger than good. This is why in marital interaction it generally takes at least five kind comments to compensate for one critical comment. ………The only way to avoid loss aversion is to know about the concept.”
So what are we do to? This will definitely take a group effort. Since we can’t give ourselves the positive comments in this particular situation we will have to form teams.
I need to form team “Joy“. Just like in kickball we get to pick our players; so I’ll choose my true friends, the family members who like me, the associates who respect me, the acquaintances who don’t know any better, my nailtech, my hairdresser and maybe anyone else I pay because they “should” be nice to me.
Team “Joy” gets points by saying five nice things to me each time I interact with them in person, in writing or on the phone. Then I must do the same. The game is won when we are all blissfully walking around and performing to our highest potential in all that we undertake; and no negative comment can undermine our day or our feeling of well-being. (Did I mention they have to be sincere compliments?).
This game however is never-ending. It is a constant give and take (give praise – take praise).
Team Joy also needs to recruit constantly and there is no limit to the number or value of the players we can amass for our team. (Unlike some professional football teams.)
We recruit by complimenting others and one by one we pick up players who are dedicated to winning. Daily they are being a positive force for Joy and recruiting others to join us. They can even be members of as many teams as they choose as long as they are active in all of them and following our basic goal of complimenting as many people as we can in a day, month, year — all while warding off our natural “negativity bias”.
Mission accomplished. We have enough good to outweigh the bad!
Have fun playing — you are welcome on Team Joy anytime!