4 Reasons Why People Are Addicted to Negativity
Have you ever wondered why certain people in your life cling to negativity? We all know a few individuals who never seem to have anything positive to say. It’s as if they are addicted to negativity!
The truth of the matter is that negativity is indeed addictive! It is a habitual behavior that can help people avoid short-term pain while simultaneously providing short-term pleasure, just as any addictive substance would.
Here are a few reasons why people are addicted to negativity:
1. It’s what’s familiar:
Many of us have been raised to be somewhat negative. As we’ve grown, we’ve spent years and years complaining, being fearful and focusing on the negative.
For this reason, it can be a challenge to become a more positive person, even when we try to do so!
Old habits often die hard, so it takes a bit of dedication for many of us to evolve into positive people. As with all addictions, once a behavior is engrained it takes conscious effort to change it.
2. It helps you “fit in:”
If you look around, negativity is the status quo for much of society.
You may haven noticed that it is often easier to strike up a conversation with other people regarding the problems in your life rather than the joys. For example, telling a friend about your illness is likely to yield you more sympathy and attention than telling the same friend about something good that happened to you today.
In fact, in some circles being especially happy and joyful is actually looked down on. If you have too many good things to say it’s possible certain people will accuse you of being naive or (even worse!) insensitive.
So, when we complain, we often get more social approval and attention than we do with positivity, and this feels good in the short term! For this reason, being negative can be rewarding, just like any drug or addictive substance.
Read: Why Taking About Our Problems Is Our Greatest Addiction
3. Taking responsibility is painful for the ego:
When we complain and point fingers, we avoid taking the “blame” for the negative circumstances in our own lives and this protect our ego. Being negative allows us to feel like victims of circumstance rather than masters of our own destiny when bad things happen to us.
Now, while taking responsibility is actually a very empowering and liberating experience, many people know nothing about this. Therefore, someone who is unaware of the power of taking responsibility will often use negativity to avoid the perceived pain of being the one to blame.
4. Negativity is reinforced through the Law of Attraction:
With the Law of Attraction you get what you focus on, so when you complain you simply get more of what you are complaining about. Through this constant attraction of negative events and circumstances, many people feel validated in being negative. In a negative person’s life there is literally more to feel negative about!
So, as a person encounters negative events, they lean on negative behavior to cope with the pain of responsibility and gain social approval and attention. Then, their focus on the negative creates more negative events and circumstances, and therefore more opportunities to avoid pain and gain social approval and attention.
It becomes a vicious, habitual cycle, and for many people it’s a cycle that lasts an entire lifetime.
As you can see, people who are addicted to negativity aren’t necessarily “bad” people. Instead, they are simply stuck in a habit that is consistently reinforced through social approval and attention and helps them to avoid the pain of responsibility.
The good news is that although many people are addicted to negativity, they can change (and some of them actually do!). Through learning about the Law of Attraction and gaining conscious awareness, many people find the desire to release the ego, and focus more on the positive.
When you become more positively focused, life becomes easier and more enjoyable, and the short-term benefits of negativity become far less attractive and appealing. When we are weaned from the negativity we find that the rewards of positivity are far greater!
So, have you made the choice to become a more positive person? Comment below and share your story!
Thanks for reading,
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Love this … I really walk away with reading something from your articles. Very relatable to someone in the public work world.
Will be answering your email very shortly! I Am putting much thought into it! XO
Aww, thanks Bobby! I really appreciate your comment and any ideas you’ve got for me. Hope you are having a great week! -Andrea
Great article. But I must confess, that in recent times it’s so hard to find truly positive friends. The negativity is simply ingrained into our society! I’m sick of listening to the same sad stories over and over again so I just avoid people like that. I don’t watch news, gossip or read magazines. It’s not healthy! I read a lot of spiritual books and self-help inspirational articles, enlightenment books. We all have problems that we worry about but it doesn’t mean we have to talk about them over and over again to drive ourselves and others mad. Or else you like it. Because it is addictive. It’s sad for me to say I was like that. Not anymore though ???? Work on yourself is the hardest, but if I could do it then anyone can!
Good point Agnieszka. I understand what you are saying. I think it’s good that you aren’t watching the news, gossiping or reading magazines, that’s great! As far as finding positive friends, it helps if we start to focus on when our friends are “being positive.” Be more aware of the good things your friends do and the times they are especially nice, and try to brush off the negativity without giving it too much attention. Then, they will be more likely to behave in a positive manner around you. I hope this helps! <3 -Andrea
Brilliantly nails it. Well done and thank you!
Thank you Aaron-much appreciated! 🙂
Lovely article, I also have been fighting negativity! Within and without!!! Slowly winning the battle though!!!
Thanks for the positive feedback Faith. Much appreciated! Keep up the good work:) XO
Great article Andrea, right now I am really upset with a member of my family that does not get along well with the rest of us clan, this person spitefully puts up posts knowing in their heart that they are doing it just to annoy the rest, Do I look at it as a person as being negative and willful because they are unhappy in their own lives, and tries to bring people down, thanks to your article it gives me so much insight, so I choose to ignore this person completely and get the poison out of our lives.
Thank you one again Andrea, you are the best!
Thanks for your kind words Sabrina! Yes, ignoring the negativity is a good idea. Do your best to make peace with what this person “is” without pushing against it. Live to your highest potential and you will encourage more people around you to do the same <3
Obviously not everyone wants to be positive or have goal in their life, person I knew who is using his negativity to attract girls attention. He told me the other day, he wants to move in with me and quit his job because he feel so depressed, and then he said he wanted to be homeless so that many girls would come to rescue him from the streets and sleep with him. I lost my mind when I heard a guy say something like this.
True, positive thinking isn’t for everyone Gigi. It works well for me, but some people prefer to hang out in negativity because it’s something they’ve become accustomed to. To each his own I suppose!
The good news for that guy is every shoe has its mate out there in the universe. LOL! I would prefer to meet up with someone on a more uplifted plane, but I suppose if you know no better, there is comfort in finding something where you are.
Sorry, maybe I made you confused, but this is the first time that I met this kind of negative person with no ambition or desire to be better by working hard. I guess he might be not that negative, but use his low self esteem to attract women who has more compassion and love towards those people who needs help or has negative energy. There is a similar guy I knew years ago, he found a rich girl to get married, and he quit his job and told his boss that his girlfriend is rich and can offer him the life he wanted. Meanwhile, what did this guy offered to the girl was nothing but have sex with her all the time. For the person that I mentioned before, He is definitely not my the other shoe, just so you know. I’m not sugar mama type! If I am, I would choose someone who is more sexier or positive.
LOL! I am sure you would GiGi. I wasn’t implying that you were the other shoe, I could see how that might be interpreted that way though.<3 Here's to you and a sexy, positive future relationship!
Andrea Schulman you are really cute!
LOL thanks Mauruy
Ryan in L.A.
very well articulated! i grew up in a blue collar midwestern town where negativity and defeatism becomes a sort of language that everyone learns to speak. then i moved to California and began working in a business where people speak a different language, one of “positivity,” and it’s at first very strange and disconcerting. But I see it very much as a learning process and a new form of expression. In no way does it ignore the fact that we all harbor both uplifting and distressing emotions.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and kind words Ryan!