Why Do We Tend To Think In Negative Extremes?

How often have you heard this from a friend…or even experienced it as part of your own internal dialogue:

“I’m never going to find a new job…I’m going to be stuck in this spot forever.” Or…

“I’m not gonna meet anyone great ever again…dating’s just too hard & there’s just no one out there for me.” Or…

“No matter how hard we search, there’s nothing that’d be an upgrade in the price range we can afford…we’re stuck in this tiny house.”

When things aren’t going our way (which happens to all of us at diff pts in our lives), the default feeling is to think in extremes: “NEVER gonna get it…gonna be like this FOREVER.” Why’s that our default?? Why’s it seem so common that – it’s not just our own internal dialogue – but we hear it from our friends/fam when they’re discouraged & venting as well?

To make matters worse, this way of thinking doesn’t end w the “never/forever,” alone. We then start to think of all the reasons WHY we’re gonna be stuck this way. “My resume is what it is…I don’t have the skills for these companies.” Or… “I’m too old & my looks are failing me, that’s why I’m having such a tough time finding someone.” Or…”Since I’m at the same job, I can’t see salary growth here…a new house isn’t gonna just fall in our lap.”

Why’s our default to think in these totalities & then rationalize them & spin lower? Is it bc when we hurt, we don’t like being disappointed even more, so “sandbagging” & feeling sorry for ourselves makes the pain less if we ultimately don’t get what we want? There’s def something to the human psyche that puts us into these thought patterns. I’m guilty of having them, myself. 

But we gotta ask – where do they get us? Though it might feel soothing in the moment to play “woe is me”…& to connect w others over our hardships, has anyone out there ever had these thoughts LEAD to success?  Here’s my pt, & again I’m right there w you, “guilty” – but what if we took a more macro approach? What if we stepped back & challenged those thoughts & tried to manifest a better outcome by literally screaming the opposite back to our negative defaults? I’m willing to try.

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