We live in a culture that has a bent toward the negative. We hear negative messages on a daily basis some direct and some a little more subtle. Because of advanced technology we are able to hear instantly news from around the world and often the stories that come to us several times a day are tragic and heartbreaking. From economic challenges, wars, crimes, political tensions, and poverty, it can leave us feeling hopeless in our ability to take action.
When Rodney and I counsel couples, we warn them of the dangers of negative thinking. It is easy to focus only on the imperfections of your spouse and forget all their good qualities. We refer to this as the 80/20 rule. In healthy marriages, 80% of what your spouse does is great (faithful, good provider, honest, caring parent, attends church with the family, serves others, etc.) but 20% is a problem (doesn’t put the dirty towels in the hamper, doesn’t take the dishes to the sink after a meal, forgets to say thank you, slow to talk, etc.). It is easy to let the 20% challenges become all we see and we become negative about our marriage.Are you only focusing on the negative about your marriage? Click To Tweet
Here are the 3 dangers of negative thinking:
- Negative thinking results in negative actions.
If you see life, work, and family through a negative lens, you will become a negative person. You will be critical, pessimistic, and can even be resentful of anyone who is positive. You will start to see fault in everything and then in everyone.
- Negative thinking attracts negative thinking.
If you are negative, you will attract others who are negative. Before you know it, critics and negative conversations will surround you. What is worse than negative thinking is being in a group of negative thinkers! Surrounding yourself with negative people will only take you further down a path of hopeless decline. Who are you attracting?
- Negative thinking causes passive aggressive behavior.
Negative thinking can cause you to feel disempowered and a victim to circumstances with no way out. This build up of a negative view will cause you to blame others which leads to a very dangerous undercurrent of passive (no action or ownership) aggressive (hostile and resentful) behavior. All your energy and emotions will be spent with nothing left to move you forward to a productive outcome.
Beware of negative thinking. Yes there are problems in the world, in your organization, and in your family. But intentionally force yourself to look at the positives, the opportunities, and the abundant blessings you have even in the middle of the challenges. You don’t have to ignore the problems but focusing on the positives will give you the energy and resources to appropriately address the problems.Intentionally look at the positives and the abundant blessings you have even in the middle of the challenges. Click To Tweet
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
— Philippians 4:6-7
How have you seen negative thinking impact your home, church, or work?