We live in a world of constant, and often instant, feedback. To deal with this, it is helpful to understand how you were designed to react to negatives.
Whether you realize it or not, you are pre-wired with what is known as “negativity bias.” This bias exists in nearly every area that has been researched across the psychology and sociology spectrums. (There is a whole biological reason for God designing us this way that can be summed up in saying missing a positive is typically less dangerous than missing a negative.)
Research has shown that, in comparison to positive, people give anywhere from four to ten times as much credence to negative interactions, feedback, and input. This is why you can have an abundance of positive feedback, but the one thing that sticks out is the negative statement. This is a completely natural reaction, and no matter how positive of a thinker you are, the negativity bias will always be a reality for humans.
Therefor, you have to be careful with your intake of negative. Especially at a time of critical decision making.
- Be careful reading the comments and feedback of others.
- Understand that your emotions will lie to you and draw you to placing an unbalanced amount of priority to the negative.
- Remind yourself that the sinking feeling you have when you hear that negative feedback is simply a visceral reaction.
- Understand that even though you will emotionally give more weight to negative reactions, you cannot give them more weight in your decision making.
- Have a team member, friend, or spouse go through the feedback with you and invite them to help you know what is logically valid and what should be dismissed.
Don’t be tricked by the negativity bias.
Control the negatives, so they don’t control you!