It’s never easy to know if you’re a negative thinker.
At times, even the most logical of people could secretly be dwelling on negative thoughts.
Negative thinking starts off as an explanation to unexplainable circumstances in your life.
And as time passes by, it turns into a way of life.
[Read: 12 easy steps to change your life and be happy]
How negative thinking enters your life
The negative thoughts start to creep into our mind when we’re feeling down or low on confidence.
You’re upset that your colleague got a promotion that you didn’t.
Or you got dumped even when you were trying to be the best partner in the world.
And the worst part, you have no idea why you’re the one who has to suffer through a bad life while everyone else seem to be having the time of their life.
If you’re an active facebook user with hundreds of friends online, you’re bound to see a lot of happy pictures and vacation snapshots all the time.
It sucks, doesn’t it? You’re cooped at home all day while your friends update every minute of their active, fun lives. Everyone’s so much happier than you!
And right about there, you start to make up excuses and explanations for the boredom and misery in your life.
Instead of realizing that half your online friends only share these smiley-faced pictures and hourly updates with the whole world only to feel better about themselves and their empty lives, you assume that you’re the sad one who’s got nothing to be happy about.
Negative thinking can be the biggest hindrance in your life and your endeavors. And unless you keep a check on it, you may end up feeling like a failure all your life.
How to stop thinking negative
Don’t live in denial. If you’ve ever felt like you’re a negative thinker, try to remove the negativity by analyzing the situation better. Life doesn’t always come with easy explanations. [Confession: I don’t know what to do with my life]
If you want to stop thinking negative, here are 10 common circumstances of negativity and ways to overcome them. Consider these scenarios and ask yourself how you’d behave when you experience them.
And if you feel like you’re a negative thinker, do something about it.
#1 You always presume the worst. Your friends forget to call you when they’re meeting up, you think they’re avoiding you. Your friends forget your birthday, you think they hate you. A friend drives past you without waving a hello because they didn’t see you, and you think they’re ignoring you.
Some of us always presume the worst possible explanations for everything. Perhaps, at times your thoughts are accurate, but not all the time. If you ever feel bad about something, subtly bring up the nagging thought and talk about it with the concerned person. Making assumptions will never help you.
#2 You never think from another person’s perspective. You think someone’s treating you badly. Or you think your lover doesn’t love you enough. Or you think your boss doesn’t appreciate your work as much as your colleague’s work. Instead of whining about what you aren’t getting, put yourself in their shoes and try to understand why they behave the way they do.
Can you see their side of the story to understand their motive? Perhaps, you have a few flaws that you don’t realize yet. Always think from the other person’s perspective and you’ll become a better person over time.
#3 You think the world is unfair to you. You get the worst deals in life. You think you’re the victim. Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or how hard you try, you can never succeed in your endeavors? Mark Zuckerberg’s so damn rich and everything’s so easy for him, isn’t it? Why can’t you be the one with all the smart ideas?
Life isn’t easy. But life’s fair to the ones who are passionate about it. If you truly believe you’re better than everyone else, you’ll get where you want to go someday. But at the same time, perhaps there’s a small chance that you’re not as good as you think you are. Stop playing the part of the victim and go out there and pursue your dream. [Read: How to truly be successful in life]
#4 You feel like you can’t depend on anyone. Are you one of those people who doubt everyone? If you feel like you can’t depend on anyone, you’re a perfectionist. Or you’re someone others shouldn’t trust. Sometimes, the way we approach life affects the way we look at others. If you think you can’t be trusted, chances are, you won’t learn to trust others too.
In life, you need to trust a few people and learn to depend on them. It helps you believe in people that matter, and at the same time, it removes doubt and negativity from your life. [Read: How to love yourself and have a better life]
#5 You expect too much from everyone. You may not realize this, but you may think the world revolves around you, and you feel dejected when others don’t treat you the way you want them to treat you. Do you expect others to help you out when you’re in a mess all the time? If you constantly depend on people for all your successes, you’re bound to feel negative when people don’t go out of their way to help you.
Your mom and dad may always be there to give you the support you need. But the world doesn’t care. Learn to stand up on your own feet and build your own successes.
#6 You can’t accept failure. If you can’t do something or achieve your goal, it’s too tough. And if anyone else does it, they got lucky. Have you ever felt this way? You’re not alone. The world is filled with people who can’t accept it when their friends become more successful. Avoid bringing luck into the equation of life, or you’ll always find yourself thinking negative about everyone who accomplishes something you don’t.
#7 You only have bad memories. You keep count of all the negative things that happen to you. But you never remember the good things in your life. Life is full of bittersweet moments. But if you find yourself surrounded by negative thoughts and the bad moments of life, you’ll find yourself enveloped in gloom and sadness. Try to look at the bright side of things and enjoy the little moments of happiness that come your way all the time.
#8 Negativity is contagious. If you feel negative around people, they’ll feel negative and stressed around you too. Happy people will start to avoid you. And you’ll start to attract people who feel just like you, negative.
Do you feel like only your friends understand how depressing and unfair life is? Chances are, you’re already surrounded by negative people. [Read: How to be nice and loved by all]
#9 Your friends laugh at you. You think your friends are laughing at you, never with you. Do you feel like your friends are sniggering behind your back? If it’s true, perhaps you need new friends. But if it’s just negative paranoia, stop that. The world may be mean, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s out there to poke fun at you or treat you badly. Perhaps, you’re just trying to look for something bad all the time to convince yourself of how bad the world is to you.
#10 You’re secretly very competitive. Do you behave like a best friend to everyone around, but deep inside, all you do is plot ways to get better than them? Healthy competition is great. But secretive overzealous plotting never is. [Read: How to be perfect in everything you do]
Do you get annoyed if a friend buys a new car or a house? Do you try everything possible to buy the same thing just so you can feel even? If you constantly feel the need to compete with someone and become better than them just to feel happy about yourself, you’re living in a shallow world that’ll always leave you negative, annoyed and constantly wanting more. Compete with yourself and tomorrow, try to become a better person than you are today. It’ll help you achieve your goals in your own terms. Otherwise, you’ll never cherish anything you have because you’re constantly peeping over your neighbor’s fence.
[Read: How to stop being jealous of someone else’s success]
These 10 negative thinking traits may seem trivial at first. But consider these questions deeply and ask yourself truthfully, just how much negative thinking have you been doing lately?
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