Write The Bad Things That Are Done To You In Sand

Write the bad things that are done to you in sand
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“Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.” -Arabic Parable

Clifford Nass, professor of communication at Stanford University, confirms that although some people have a more positive outlook, almost everyone has the tendency to remember negative events clearer and stronger than positive ones.

She explains that positive and negative information are processed in different hemispheres of the brain. Moreover, negative emotions are processed more thoroughly because people tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events that pleasant ones. Human beings and even animals are wired to focus on the negative rather than the positive. In Prof.

Roy Baumeister’s co-authored article, “Bad is Stronger than Good”, he attributes this trait to the evolution of man. He writes, “Survival requires urgent attention to possible bad outcomes but less urgent with regard to good ones.” More interestingly, because negative things are associated with survival, Professor Nass added that people who say negative things are viewed as smarter than those who are positive.

Because negative words weigh more than positive words, Professor Nass and Professor Baumeister suggest that managers should criticize constructively and sparingly. According to a worldwide study by Towers Watson, workers feel more engaged if their managers found a genuine interest in their wellbeing. A genuine interest involves appreciating, listening to grievances, and filtering negative information. Unfortunately, only less than 40% felt engaged.

Although it is the brain’s default to value the negative more than the positive, researchers still believe that humans can learn how to cope by mindfully focusing on the good. Ultimately, one can choose whether or not to let criticism reduce their value.

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