Are you Genetically Hardwired to be Negative?
Negativity is a draining character trait that overwhelms both the person expressing it and the people they are around. A simple Google search defines negativity as a tendency to be downbeat, disagreeable, and skeptical. For the most part, being negative wears everyone out, including the person being negative. But is negativity ever a good thing?
If you ask a geneticist, they will tell you humans may be hardwired to be negative. That’s because early man used negativity to stay alive!
Early man lived in a volatile world where failure to predict bad things often resulted in death. Over time the humans who survived the harsh environment had superior physical and mental strength that kept them from being killed or conquered. Science indicates the traits that helped early man outwit and outlast weaker humans was passed on through DNA. That means a tendency to lean into negativity and hyper focus on what could go wrong is and ancestral character trait.
As the world evolved and became more docile, there was less need for negative-driven security, but the trait remains despite a less volatile world.
Ultimately, evidence indicates that modern man is a balance between nature…our genetics, and nurture…how we manage our innate traits.
Nature Vs Nurture- How Do They Influence our Behavior?
Our nature is what we are born with. Our unique brand of personality, predispositions, and character traits. We can’t control much of how we were born. Some people are shy, while others are assertive, some people are physically gifted and others intellectually superior.
Nurture speaks to how we are influenced. The environment we are exposed to as a baby, child, and so forth influences our minds and shapes our reactions. This can enhance or take away from our natural tendencies and actually amplify or diminish them.
That means a person born with a positive nature could be influenced into being negative depending on the situations and circumstances they experience. Additionally, someone who tends to be extreme or volatile by nature, can be softened and humbled by the appropriate environment.
Some Negativity Has Value
While chronic negativity is disruptive and….well, negative. There are times when it’s valuable. Being negative can protect you and those you love. It can keep you from being taken advantage of or injured. That evolutionary gut instinct keeps us out of dark alleys or accepting rides from strangers. In many cases, negativity is actually important.
The problem occurs when negativity is a default reaction. When being critical, pessimistic, judgmental, and adversarial is normal. That’s not a healthy perspective and can keep you from living a positive life.
Thankfully, you don’t have to accept negativity as a genetic trait that can’t be undone. You can embrace the healthy symmetry of negativity and positivity and learn to be more positive in your everyday life.