5 Simple Ways to Drop a Negative Attitude

A negative attitude is poisonous to any individual’s happiness. It deprives people of the ability to enjoy their lives or live to the fullest. Although I could write 10,000 words about it, the point of this article is to share some simple ways to improve a negative attitude. There are many other ways, but everybody needs to start somewhere. Of course, it is impossible to be positive all the time, to eliminate negative attitude from absolutely every situation, but we can all at least try.  Being self-aware is the most important thing, and the fact that you are reading this article means you are either affected by attitude (whether it’s your own or somebody else’s), or you want to improve yourself.

The great thing with any habit is that you can change it over time, and attitude is no different.  Improving your outlook will also have a positive impact on everybody you come into contact with, be it people you spend most of your day with or people you pass in the street.

What are 5 negative attitudes?

Negative attitudes can vary widely depending on the context, but some common examples include:

  1. Pessimism: This is an attitude characterized by a focus on the worst aspects of situations and a belief that bad outcomes are the most likely. Pessimists often expect failure or disappointment.
  2. Cynicism: Cynics generally distrust others’ motives. They may believe that people are primarily motivated by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons. This can lead to a lack of trust in others and in institutions.
  3. Defeatism: A defeatist attitude is one where the individual believes that they are destined to fail or that success is impossible, often leading them to not even try.
  4. Negativity or Complaining: This attitude involves consistently focusing on the negative aspects of a situation, often ignoring any positive aspects. Individuals with this attitude may also complain frequently.
  5. Stubbornness: While persistence can be a positive trait, stubbornness becomes a negative attitude when an individual refuses to consider other perspectives or possibilities. This inflexibility can hinder problem-solving and cooperation.

What triggers negative attitude?

A variety of factors can trigger negative attitudes. Some of these include:

  1. Stress: High levels of stress can lead to negative attitudes. This is because stress can make people feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, which can then lead to a more negative outlook.
  2. Negative Life Events: Experiencing negative life events, such as a job loss, the end of a relationship, or the death of a loved one, can trigger negative attitudes. These events can lead to feelings of sadness, anger, and fear, which can then influence a person’s overall outlook.
  3. Poor Self-Esteem: People with low self-esteem often have a negative view of themselves. This can extend to their views about the world around them, leading to a more negative attitude overall.
  4. Lack of Control: Feeling that you have no control over your life or circumstances can lead to negative attitudes. This is because a lack of control can make people feel helpless and hopeless.
  5. Physical Health Problems: Physical health problems, such as chronic pain or a serious illness, can lead to negative attitudes. This is because these conditions can cause significant distress and can affect a person’s quality of life.
  6. Mental Health Conditions: Certain mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety disorders, can cause negative attitudes. These conditions often involve negative thought patterns that can influence a person’s overall attitude.
  7. Social and Environmental Factors: Factors such as a lack of social support, isolation, discrimination, or living in an unsafe or unstable environment can also lead to negative attitudes. These factors can make people feel unsupported and unsafe, which can contribute to a more negative outlook.

It’s important to note that everyone’s experiences and triggers are unique. What might trigger a negative attitude in one person might not have the same effect on someone else. Understanding what triggers negative attitudes can be the first step in addressing them and working toward a more positive outlook.

Here are 5 ways to ‘Drop a Negative Attitude‘:

Separate facts from opinion

  • We are bombarded by people’s opinions all the time: in return, we give our opinion and try to convince them.  For example: “I didn’t get the job because my face didn’t fit” – not getting the job is a fact, but the rest is just opinion. Stop making up these opinions and then convincing yourself you are right.
  • You cannot change a person’s opinion without facts, and even then it is very difficult.
  • Consider this: Does the other person’s opinion really matter? If not, don’t dwell on it!

Accept people

  • Stop seeing people only from your perspective. They are just doing what they think is best, with the experience that they have.
  • You don’t know what they have been through or are currently going through. Maybe they are doing better than you would in the same situation?

Stop gossiping and moaning

  • Gossip doesn’t do anybody any good, you can guarantee if somebody is willing to gossip with you they will gossip about you.
  • Socrates had a “triple filter” for gossip: in short if you cannot not guarantee something was true, useful or positive then you shouldn’t say it!

Don’t be a victim

  • Take responsibility for everything.
  • Once you stop blaming everything and everybody for your position, it frees you up to be able to do something about it.
  • Blaming others is lazy, and is a way to justify not doing anything about the situation.  Don’t fall into this trap.

Positive thoughts

  • Make time at least every morning and night to close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing, and think of all the good in your life. Just 5 minutes twice a day would be a good start.
  • Ask yourself a couple questions like: What 3 things made me feel good yesterday? What 3 people love me most?  Who would miss me if I was gone?
  • This simple mini-mediation technique will brighten your mood immediately.

Help others

  • Even if you can’t see how they deserve it! When you help other people it makes you feel good: do it for yourself, not just for them.
  • Give to charity or donate some time by volunteering, if no-one you know needs your help then help strangers.

Remember, everyone can experience these attitudes from time to time. They become problematic when they are persistent and interfere with a person’s wellbeing or relationships. If you or someone you know is struggling with negative attitudes, professional help such as counselling or therapy can be beneficial.

Of course, there is so much more you can do, and you are not going to change your negative attitude overnight.  It is also unreasonable to think you will always have a positive attitude: I’m pretty good, but I know I will never achieve perfection. Although I am better than I used to be, I still need to work on it every day and so will you.  We are all works-in-progress.

The hardest thing is giving to those you don’t feel deserve it.  But while it is the toughest, it is the most valuable. Giving with no expectation of receiving in return brings a great feeling of self-satisfaction, which is rewarding in itself. There’s nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

Always remember that your attitude is a choice – make the right one!

What do you do on a daily basis to drop a negative attitude? Please leave comments.

If this helped you, it will help somebody else!

You've just read an article by Steven Webb —  Guiding you through the most difficult times. Here is a link to my podcast Stillness in the Storms and Inner Peace Meditations.

I write to arm you with resilience and inner wisdom, helping you find calm in life’s chaos. Follow me Medium or on substack.

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Steven Webb

Steven Webb is a renowned meditation teacher with over a decade of experience. Known for his unique approach to quieting the busy mind, Steven navigated through a life of adversity to find his own inner peace. Now, he shares his wisdom to help others build resilience and find tranquility even in life's most turbulent times. Through his writing, courses, and podcast "Stillness in the Storms," Steven empowers people to discover their own sanctuary of inner peace when they need it the most.
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