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Thread: Positive vs negative life situation focus

  1. #1
    Cooler than Jesus
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    Positive vs negative life situation focus

    I tend to let the worst thing present in my life dictate my overall feeling. In other words, if everything is great but I have a shitty time at work, I get very preoccupied about work and become generally dissatisfied because of that. Or if I have a great job that I'm happy with but lacking social life, I become preoccupied with that instead and let that make me dissatisfied. I can only think of a few moments of real satisfaction in my life, and they were all during times where there was virtually nothing unpleasant (and also, they very short lived). Most people I know aren't like this, they'll put up with negative situations for a long time as long as it's not all bad, and seem to be capable of distracting themselves by whatever is good. What are you like? Or am I oversimplifying all this and missing the point?

  2. #2
    Regular Joe stigmatica's Avatar
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    I'm kind of the polar opposite most the time, although a major catastrophe can keep me up at night. I'm usually pre-occupied with whatever it is that I'm happiest about, and find all the other things distracting. Both ways of being have value and detriments I think. My wife is more like you, so we kind of keep each other sane with a balance.
    Quote Originally Posted by mara View Post
    my crime is that i disrupted the echo chamber

  3. #3
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    There's very little I could add to your OP. I can be having a reasonably good time (rare enough), but when some idiot comes along, or even some tiny things add up, it will ruin my mood for the rest of the day. Today was one of these days. There's a reason why, in German, "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched" literally translates to "Thou shalt not praise the day before the evening".

    Presumably you can forge a shield for this low frustration tolerance, though – something that will really make a difference between being silently ferocious all the time versus going through the world with an invisible armour. For me, it's work in the early morning – if I get something meaningful finished by 11AM, I'll feel pretty invincible. Finishing long projects is the best – that just creates a frantic high that lasts all day. On the other hand, if I get stuck, waste time or worse yet, oversleep, that's it; terrible mood for the rest of the day, no matter what. Fortunately, these things are easily fixed with advance preparation (i. e. going to bed at a reasonable time etc.) and some discipline.

    Perhaps you have similar "triggers"? If you manage to identify them, it should be easy to correct them.*


    *If you have an overly keen perception of negativity, I mean to say. To put it trivially, life sucks most of the time (and yes, any one aspect of one's life can spoil all others if it doesn't go right). I am certain it does for the vast majority of people – and the other few are lucky, (temporarily) deluded fools.

  4. #4
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I tend to have a pretty neutral attitude towards most things...so I tend not to fixate on the good or the bad...negative things don't really get me down, but positive things don't exactly elevate me much either. I tend to prefer sobriety over depression or excitement though...I mean, I've never experienced an overflow of clarity or insight when I've been at either extreme...so I'm not really drawn to one over the other. One tends to inflate reality, and the other deflates it...I just want it to be properly flated. lol
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

  5. #5
    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    i relate to OP, but i think i've gotten better at "distracting myself" and keeping on track on whatever it is i'm trying to do. ultimately the negativity is a bit irrational. i'm still easily stressed out, but what helps is just having some of the discipline to work on stuff and take plenty of breaks, PLUS learning to be OK with others' help when it takes a huge load off your shoulders is really nice.

    if i don't have the time and space to rest and refresh myself, i get tired and anxious about everything, neglect my own needs and get depressed. i'm naturally pretty self-denying and i've seen that it isn't healthy.

  6. #6
    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sappho View Post
    There's very little I could add to your OP. I can be having a reasonably good time (rare enough), but when some idiot comes along, or even some tiny things add up, it will ruin my mood for the rest of the day. Today was one of these days. There's a reason why, in German, "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched" literally translates to "Thou shalt not praise the day before the evening".
    Is it in the informal or formal 'you'? ('Thou' was the informal you in pre-18th century English, 'you' was the formal one)
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrus View Post
    Is it in the informal or formal 'you'? ('Thou' was the informal you in pre-18th century English, 'you' was the formal one)
    My translation is imprecise. The original goes "Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben", so the correct translation should have been "One shan't..."

    Edit @ferrus: That's what you get for wanting to employ Dickensian spelling in our days I should have checked more sources, I suppose.
    Last edited by Sappho; 04-14-2015 at 12:34 PM.

  8. #8
    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sappho View Post
    Edit @ferrus: That's what you get for wanting to employ Dickensian spelling in our days I should have checked more sources, I suppose.
    Dickens was well known for his breaches from the properties of standard English.

    Though that said it does appear to be making inroads into more recent English. It would appear one of those words that exists because English has never had a formal academy of usage as such (and why the Americans got away with their barbaric spelling reforms), and especially before modern communication a large degree of variety was allowed even in relatively formal contexts.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

  9. #9
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sappho View Post
    My translation is imprecise. The original goes "Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben", so the correct translation should have been "One shan't..."

    In school I was always taught that "soll" is equivalent to "should" in English. (An auxiliary that puts the main verb in the subjunctive tense rather than the simple future tense.)

    I got into a discussion about "shall" the other day--I was taught that it was basically archaic, an old synonym of "will" (as in "wird" or "werde") which has gone out of use--but some coworkers of about my age or slightly older said they'd had English teachers insistently correct them about using "will" where they were supposed to use "shall."

    I had to ask--since I was never taught any distinction in usage, just that one was in modern use but not the other--but I was told:

    1. Modern "shall" is only supposed to be used in the first person. (This obviously conflicts with usages like "thou shalt", so maybe that's a recent change, or my friends were just wrong about it.)

    2. "Shall" is like "will" in the sense that it describes a predicted, concrete future--not a hypothetical future as with "could", "would" or "should"--but is less emphatic or commital about the prediction. (If you combine this with the "only use 'shall' in the first person" rule, then "I will ____" makes an emphatic promise whereas "I shall ____" falls short of that, expressing an intention and confidence in its realization but not staking your honor or anything on its realization.)



    OP:

    Personally, I find I'm usually able to enjoy the contentment associated with things in my life being basically OK (which can even mean "there's no immediately pressing crisis right now"), but at the same time my brain needs to always be working on a solution to some problem or other. If things get so groovy (or just rotely predictable and easily handled through a familiar routine) that my mind is deprived of this stimulus, things can go cockeyed pretty quickly. My brain will invent problems just for the sake of having something to defeat or "fix", and if it's been really understimulated for too long these sometimes become the emotional equivalent of real, pressing crises.

    I assume most people experience something like that some of the time--it's what drives anyone to seek self-improvement in any sphere of life--but I'm able to be most serene when I have some project I can be working on that is complex and challenging but not so pressing or critical that it can't be put aside to let myself fall back on autopilot survival tasks and sort of slack off/meditate when the project becomes stressful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  10. #10
    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    I used to be massively preoccupied with the negatives of life until one day I decided it was unhealthy, led to a dismal worldview and made my experience of life much more negative than was necessary. I can reroute or flip moods really fast from daily annoyances, provided I am not experiencing them in that moment. I zero in on something in the moment and allow myself to be pleased with it/enjoy it.

    This has led quite a few people to be overtly amused at what appears to be something akin to wearing rose coloured glasses. Which may or may not be true. I am generally pleased by many simple things, like shades of colour/scents/tastes and certain people simply existing. In the grand scheme of things raspberries are always an experience to be devoted to whereas almost any frustration is not, the soft sandy texture of unglazed ceramic is frisson worthy, moving water beautiful, ect. I rather delight in the existence of the physical world.
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

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