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Why does negative drag us down more than positive uplifts us?

by | 18. Apr 2021

colorful Vortex

And why is it so critical for us to have a minimum ratio of 3 to 1 positive versus negative?

If you are above this ratio you are uplifted by a vortex of positi­vity and if you are below it you are feeling conti­nu­ally dragged down by a vortex of negati­vity. Thank you Shirzad Chamine for compi­ling relevant research on this 3 to 1 ratio in your book “Positive Intel­li­gence” and adding your own studies of the PQ vortex for describing this energetic phenomenon.

What has evolu­tion to do with it?

Basically, our brain spirals on the negative as well as on the positive. The reason why our brain boosts the negative and why you need 3 positives to counteract 1 negative is that due to evolu­tion our brain holds on to and ampli­fies the negative far more than the positive. Being aware and remem­be­ring details of dange­rous animals was much more important for our ances­tors than remem­be­ring a beautiful flower.

What can we do to be overall more uplifted than dragged down?

We cannot change our circum­s­tances. What we can do is be aware and consciously shift our perspec­tive and outlook on life. This has a signi­fi­cant impact on our perfor­mance and well-being. As a conse­quence we are more calm, focused and curious and less anxious, hectic and stressed.

Make this a habit:

The minimum of 3/1 ratio should be maintained both inside and outside your mind – in the form of thoughts in your head and also extern­ally keeping a 3/1 ratio of positive to negative inter­ac­tions in relati­ons­hips that matter to you. So pay atten­tion to when you have negative thoughts or emotions inside your head. These are moments when your mind feels stress, anxiety, anger, disap­point­ment, stress, blame, guilt, shame, self-doubt, regret and so on. These moments might happen in reaction to yourself, to others or to circum­s­tances. Maybe you are beating yourself up for a recent failure, or you are blaming your partner or colleague for not acting the way you want. Or maybe you feel helpless and angry because of events you cannot influ­ence. When you notice that, counter that by comman­ding your mind to come up with at least 3 positives. They don’t have to be big or compli­cated things.

Are you open for a little exercise to train it?

Aim to 3/1 ratio in your mind:

Close your eyes.

Let’s think positive using perspec­tive. Bring to mind something that has been bothe­ring you.

Let’s think at least of a couple of possible gifts. First: to have the situa­tion not bother you as much, what strength do you need to grow. Maybe it’s about being more empathetic towards yourself or the other? So bringing compas­sion to yourself could be one gift.

Be curious about what you have learnt. How could that help you handle an even bigger challenge. What challenge might that be? Create a learning could be a second gift.

Can you think about a third possible gift? What else is crossing your mind, that you are grateful for? There are often so many gifts here and now, if you really think about it.

… Open your eyes when you are ready.

And you can do the same in your surrounding

Aim for 3/1 ratio in relationships:

It takes 3 positive inter­ac­tions to neutra­lize 1 negative interactions.

Think about it when you meet people. Sometime a smile, a positive word, a personal question or even small acknow­ledgments change a lot!

I hope this article was interes­ting for you. If you are interested to learn more about mental fitness and how to train it, feel free to contact me:

And if you want to know your own PQ score: do the free assess­ment:  https://key4c.com/en/mental-fitness/#PQSCORE

The Author:

Dr. Uta Barbara Nachbaur an execu­tive and career coach and trainer, is specia­lized in leadership, mental fitness, commu­ni­ca­tion, conflict and inter­cul­tural navigation.

 

I would love to read your comments

Dr. Uta B. Nachbaur
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