Sept. 9, 2020

The Constant Negativity Is Getting Old

Negativity is contagious (no duh). We can set limits on the whining and the “No!”, but maybe detaching our emotional states from those of our cranky children is the best place to start. A neutral response makes negativity less interesting sooner.

Negativity is a biological imperative–we're wired to pay more attention to the bad things around us in order for us to survive. Still, some among us are a little more Debbie-Downer than others. And the problem is, that negativity is contagious. After six months at home with a whining preschooler and an eye-rolling tween, the negativity is getting old. Real old.

Our listener Keri posed this question: "How do y’all deal with the constant negativity of having little kids? I just finished dealing with my 5-year-old’s whining and attitude (“I’m getting tired of you, mommy!” Feeling’s mutual, kid!) and now the toddler is whining and crying. It feels like they take turns and there’s very little time when one or the other isn’t bringing the negativity. As someone who doesn’t do well in a negative atmosphere, it really gets to me."

In this episode, we discuss strategies both for stopping negativity in its tracks and for resisting its pull. There's lots to be down about right now. But if there's going to be a reset in our homes, it's probably going to have to start with us.

Here are links to research and other writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Dr. Daniel Amen for Additude: Why We Crave the Drama That Sabotages Relationships

Catherine Moore for Positive Psychology: What Is The Negativity Bias and How Can it be Overcome?

Kevin J. Roberts: Negativity

Dr. Stuart Shanker for The MEHRIT Centre: “Reframing” Challenging Behaviour, Part 1: Blue Brain, Red Brain, and Brown Brain

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