‘Negativitis’ cripples the human spirit

Does it seem strange that some people COMPLAIN they don’t have enough TIME to be happy, yet they find enough time to be sad? Not really. You see, their deplorable plight has nothing to do with having sufficient or insufficient time. It has everything to do with complaining. After all, complaining is the negation of happiness. It’s impossible to complain and be happy at the same time.

So, beware of that insidious disease known as ‘negativitis’ (negative thinking). It is as pervasive as the common cold, but far more damaging. It mutilates, cripples, and corrodes the human spirit. Those infected by it are broken men and women aimlessly plodding along. The dark clouds brooding over them obscure their vision and cause them to become confrontational, apathetic, and cynical. Their lives are like flat champagne, without any sizzle. So, how do we inoculate ourselves against such a harmful disease? It was only after learning about the horrible effects of smoking that people began to give it up. It may be wise to do the same here. So, let’s review the effects of negativitis.

1. Complaining is worse than doing nothing, for it is digging the rut one is in deeper and deeper. Each time one complains, it becomes increasingly difficult to climb out of the ditch they’ve created. To loosen the grip of this vicious habit, we need to become aware of our complaining, stop it in its tracks, and immediately look for something positive to say. It’s just a matter of replacing a bad habit with a good one.

2. A negative attitude is self-defeating. We won’t find solutions to life’s problems by looking for someone or something to blame. Those who say, “Positive thinking doesn’t work for me,” have got it backwards. It’s not positive thinking that has to work; YOU have to work. For example, you have to work at appreciating what you have instead of moaning about what you lack.

3. Failure to do what you want to do (be happy) causes physical and mental stress. A rotten attitude, not only delays success, but also shortens life by damaging the immune system (to learn more on how your thoughts affect your immune system, investigate psychoneuroimmunology). So, besides the diseases directly caused by stress, such as heart disease and ulcers, we become susceptible to all manner of other diseases because of a weakened immune system.

4. Do you know anyone with a negative attitude? How many years have they been that way? Two years? Five years? Ten years? That’s how many years of happiness and success they have robbed themselves of. Blinded by their own negativity, they are prevented from seeing the good around them.

5. One characteristic of negative thinkers is their need to have the world behave according to their wishes. They have never grown up and still live with childish demands. Whenever people and the world fail to act according to their selfish wishes, they are unhappy. Such a poisonous attitude prevents them from growing and learning how to cope with life’s challenges.

6. Everything negative we say about ourselves to ourselves (self-talk) and to others is a suggestion. We are unwittingly practicing self-hypnosis, programing ourselves for failure, and creating self-fulfilling prophecies.

7. The negative world of our imagination creates a negative world that is real and one that we are forced to live in. Take Ralph, for example. He’s always complaining about life. “Nowadays people are rude and surly. No matter where you go or what you do, you have to deal with ill-bred people.” As he said this, we made our way to a coffee shop. Once inside, we were greeted by a cheerful chap who asked us what we would like. Sighing (as if it took a great effect to speak), Ralph, almost inaudibly, ordered a medium sized regular coffee. When it arrived, he started complaining. Pointing to the cup, he said, “This is medium?” Without waiting for a response, he added, “You should have told me your cups are so small; I would have ordered a large one if I knew.” Despite the long line that Ralph was holding up, the man behind the counter tried to be patient. Without complaint, he took away the small coffee and replaced it with a large one. As soon as it arrived, Ralph looked at it aghast and bellowed, “You call this regular? There’s not enough cream!” The man behind the counter, who only moments ago was cheerful was now upset and sarcastically replied, “Yes, for MOST people, this is regular, but if you INSIST, I’ll put in more cream. Perhaps next time you may want to ask for DOUBLE cream!” I was next, so I got my coffee and joined Ralph at the table. “See,” he told me, “what did I say to you? People are rude.” Yes, in Ralph’s world, people ARE rude, but what he does not realize is he makes them so.

8. A particularly pernicious effect of ‘negativitis’ is that it sets one up for the mentality of a victim. Those with a woe-is-me attitude sit around in misery, waiting to be rescued. But they wait in vain because no one can rescue them from their own attitude. They are the only ones who can change it. And until they do so, they are condemned to continue suffering.

9. Another adverse effect of negativity is that it sets one up for the magic-bullet-syndrome. That is, the victim of ‘negativitis’ spends their time looking for a quick, easy fix, when none exists. By denying a fundamental law of life that states anything worthwhile requires effort to achieve, they achieve nothing. They won’t make progress until they realize that nothing in life is free. They’ve got to be willing to do what it takes to get what they want.

10. Also, beware of the fact that negative people attract other complainers. Because those who live in a world of doom and gloom alienate others, they have no choice but to look for other negative people to associate with. They then feed off one another and get locked in a clique of losers.

11. The constant stress that flows from a negative attitude also saps one’s energy, focus, and motivation. It is hardly a formula for success.

12. Also of great concern is the fact that those who refuse to work on improving their negative attitude may slide into depression, self-pity, and hopelessness.

13. Additionally, negative people not only harm themselves; they harm the world. They cease to make a contribution to it. Instead of helping, they spread gloom and misery everywhere. If they insist on infecting others, why not infect them with laughter? If they must carry something contagious, why not carry a smile?

Imagine being in a small boat drifting in a river. And imagine being unaware that your boat has a motor. As long as you fail to use that motor you will be a captive of the river. You will be a prisoner without any control over your destination. Yet, the boat that we’re in does have a motor. We can use it to change course. That motor is our power of choice. All we have to do is choose to look for the good, for when we do so, that is all we will find!


  1. Knowing the truth about negative people makes it easer to forgive them, and to under stand why?

  2. I think am a positive thinker I like your comments on negative people.
    I have a brother and sister-in-law that would complain if hung with a new rope, they have did this all my life no matter what I do are say are do is not good enough to please them, If I say any thing they want to fight,Im 67 years old my brother 68 we have battled all our life, and its got worse, this last time we had a family reunions my brother and sister in law was there first.
    I was bringing some food up and when I got there I let my dog out and was unloading my truck, the next thing that happened was my dog did his thing on sister in law bag that was on the ground she got up and tried to kick my dog crust jump in there car and sped out like Mario andedy ?
    You talk about childish acks,I had just bought another truck when I got home ,some one had keyed it if you know what that means, took a car key and took it too my paint on the truck that I had just got, this has never in my life, and when confronted them, all they wonted, to do is fight. you made me under stand negative people thank you

  3. Feels like a gigantic cop out. The positive people pointing at people who are frustrated and fed up with their environments are unable to change things because the way things work is by numbers. Otherwise the only real major contributor to change is bias and convincing others to join you. The ‘negative’ people aren’t always negative, in fact they are hyper positive. How? It’s because they care too much, have higher expectations than you do, and would hope the rest of the world would smarten up and actually care about one another enough to avoid having to fold, let someone walk all over them, or keep their mouths shut because they don’t agree with the status quo.

    Usually the reason for what you consider negativity is in fact a disdain for ineptitude, a disgust for obnoxiousness and a hate for arrogance/stupidity. But that’s considered negative because its not sun shiny and happy times for all. Did you even consider that your version of happy, of the world, is a living hell for others? And since you join in in the least resistant majority of sheep out there, that perhaps your existence and support of that form of life is what causes negative feedback from others…when really they are just expressing the anguish they suffer from the majority arrogance/stupidity/opinion/ignorance? But that would mean you’d have to care or look at yourself as the problem. And why would you ever do that when you have the wonderful name calling defence mechanism called negativity.

    Get off your high horse positive kick and realize that positive and negative are relative to point of view. And perhaps one day you’ll realize your farts don’t smell like roses to everyone else. And in fact what you do is ostracize the rest of these people with your dismissive ideology on ignoring progressive reflection, frustrating the situation thus causing more misery on those you condemn. You are in fact the most negative influence through bigoted prejudice.

  4. I am typing you today because i have this same problem here with the man i live with and all he does is complain all the time from morning till night,he hates the world he lives in and he hates people and he keeps wishing bad things to happen to people and he hates himself and nothing ,i mean nothing is ever right for him!
    He has been this way for over his life time and its only become worse and i just can’t deal with it any more and he has a awful attitude and i just don’t know what to do about it and this point i don’t think i can do anything!
    And if i say anything about the bad things he is saying he gets mad at me and storms off in the other room and slams the door and runs his mouth in there and then falls in a depressed state and stays that way all day and he is never ever in a good mood as he is always mad all the time and he thinks the whole world is against him or people are talking about him or he thinks that people are plaining to do something to him or going to distroy something of his.
    He never smiles no time ever and he is never happy!
    Thanks for reading what i had to say!
    Sandyjo Gerald

  5. I once heard that in marriage it’s best to keep your eyes open fully beforehand and half shut afterwards. And it pays to listen, but it doesn’t hurt to be a little deaf, either. You can apply this to the world at large, too. You cannot make a truly honest appraisal of the world and keep a shine about it. But you can look with the fresh eyes of a child and see something that wasn’t there before.

  6. Everything negative we say about ourselves to ourselves (self-talk) and to others is a suggestion. We are unwittingly practicing self-hypnosis, programing ourselves for failure, and creating self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Oh my God this is right on point. As a matter of fact everything you have said is true and some things have hit home for me, things I am dealing with or have dealt with in the past.

    Excellent information.

  7. No wonder I am always attracting either negative people or people in negative moods.

    I have autisum disorder which effects my learning skills and most of the time I just sit feeling sorry for myself and only try to do things to please others rather then myself.

    I’ve noticed if you go in life either doing nothing about your situation or trying to please others the results often back fire.

    The universe is like a nagging mother that will not stop till whatever your blockage is is chewed up.

  8. love this article as i have to deal with a miserable and very negative person each day and just her facial expression can ruin my day,
    I wish there was something i could do to avoid her but she is my sister

  9. I’ve known some negative thinking. My dad ‘seemed’ to think negative, but he wasn’t having opinions about me: 1. I don’t ask for an opinion, and I don’t leave room to comment about me, I hate your thoughts about me, so I’m a damn ignorant person. 2. His “negative” thinking, which he said he can’t remember, but mum is no bull artist, what she said is dad said I think he’s a saint. 3. I can take her word for this. 4. as long as this is my world and only concerns me, I’m satisfied with my inventions and not with human beings. 5. I don’t hate humans, I just hate the people who make comments about me. 6. I’m talking to the maker of the website and not anyone else.

    I don’t have problems, it’s the world’s problem. Every year since 2011 nothing thinks what I try to make it think, but I did a very extroardinary job making some people think I’m so good, so talented, without letting disability get in the way, I ignored the disability, and focussed on a silent label: personal power, but my power doesn’t involve businesses or success gurus writing for years, I have my own kind of power, and that power is most people think I’m so great. It’s not a casual “how’s it going? You’re cool!”, it’s more like, in a soft nice voice “You’re a good man and you’re very gifted”. The point is negativity and what people think of you is just an illusion; Schopenhauer has ruined my mind so I couldn’t see that none of the evil is true (evil is not the truth, and brutal honesty is a delusion of unpleasant reality, none of that stuff exists). Unpleasant reality doesn’t exist, the real reality is me, and myself and no one exists, they’re just insane images in my mind. That means you are crazy, my sanity is clean if I can stop percieving your presence, not because I don’t like you, but because a human is a hologram of a crazy insane person.

  10. The irony of course being you are negative towards negativity. What a simple world this is. Thanks.

  11. accepting who you are doesnt mean stop progressing.love yourself before trying to love others.

  12. Nothing is good or bad…it’s in our mind which makes it good or bad…

  13. i especially liked #7. as someone who works with people a lot, it’s what most people really don’t get.

  14. its well said about the environment is filled with negative thinkings and thougts….

  15. Absolutely true.
    For example my sister used to also incline to negative thinking she like watch unpleasant real videos, scenarios of accidents or things like that and feelings of that just stays in her amygdala: memory of feelings and she feels more depressed.

  16. Nonsense. Negative people are simply more susceptible to the true state of affairs of the world. They lack the ability to fool themselves into that everything is alright. If people would take take heed of the warning signs of those “negative” people, the world would be a better place indeed.

  17. That is so well said.


    I would like it if this one important person in my life would take the time to read it.

  18. I have the same feeling and do the same things, this whole thing is my life. Now I understand..thank you 🙂

  19. Well written and so true I know a whole lot of negative people and they are not successful.

  20. if you have a positive attitude you are very lucky person as that attitude brings bliss joy wealth and much more

  21. this information was very helpful and i like the whole disease thing that is very confinsing!!! 🙂

  22. i have a friend who i tell over & over STOP with the NEGATIVE AND START thinking POSITIVE I ASK HIM “John ask your friend if you can borrow 5.00 and his answer will be Oh they do not have any money they are always broke” i say STOP THINKING NEGATIVE AND START THINKING POSITIVE THIS SENARIO GOES ON ALL THE TIME-I WILL PRINT THESE PAGES OUT FOR MY FRIEND AND I HOPE HE UNDERSTAND WHAT NEGATIVE THINKING IS DOING TO HIM

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