The Negative and the Positive

Did you know that if one person says something negative, it can take between 3 and 40 positive comments to outweigh it? For every bad thing, it takes several more good things to counter it.

The vast difference in that ratio seems to be because while scientists have studied the idea, they can’t agree on a “perfect ratio” – I actually link all of the websites I used to research this at the end of the blog today. While I didn’t go into depth on research but was rather just curious to see what the “magic number” was, the vast discrepancy in the numbers seems to suggest, at least to me, that some people have a hard time getting over negative things than others might.

I know I do.

Criticism and negative experiences seem to be difficult to take for people. Perhaps it is because they associate it with things that happened to them in the past, or they are more sensitive to negative feedback. One bad throwaway comment made by a person they admire can wreck their day and cause them to feel emotions even years later. One negative thing on a performance evaluation that was mostly positive can haunt them for days on end. A bad review on their book can make them doubt themselves, even when there are hundreds of good ones (this has not happened to me, but to an author I follow).

But there can be good that comes out of the negative. A folk singer by the stage name of Corook took some negativity they experienced and with their other half, Olivia Barton, they turned it into a song that went viral (and that I have listened to already about a hundred times):

Corook and Olivia Barton took a negative and turned it into a positive that has been seen around the world. The positives are still flowing in, multiplied more and more each day. They are trying, in their own way, to make the world a better place.

If you have a chance, find the full version of their song – it’s awesome!!!

I turn some of the negativity I have experienced in my life and wove it into my Portals Series stories, taking the bad along with the good to make believable tales of fantasy that some have found actually quite good. And while I still struggle with doubts and the comments of the past that still haunt me (that I have written about numerous times on this blog as well), I continue to channel my words into positives to help others. I find ways to spread magic in tangible ways to others. I express love via the cards I write to them. I exude joy in the comments I make at the way they express themselves (I really like your sweater!!”). I share peace with my little Instagram musings. I bring hope to others as often as I can.

And while we must experience the bad, there often is silver linings to be had as well. We find our strengths when we are pressured. We learn that we can do hard things. And while sometimes the critics still haunt us, we find that we can be better, do better, and still find the magic in the mundane.

In a world full of negativity, find a way to be a be a positive force for good. Spread kindness like confetti. Be the joy the world needs to have. Bring peace to those you want to feel animosity towards. Love those who may feel unlovable. Bring some hope to the desolate. Weave this into the story you are writing of your lives.

Stay magical, friends.

Sources – all accessed 27 April 2023:

“How Many Good Experiences Finally Outweigh a Bad One?” by Bridget De Maine on The Collective Hub

“Challenge Your Negative Thinking With the 5:1 Ratio” by Kara Cutruzzula on Shine

“The Secret Ratio That Proves Why Customer Reviews Are So Important: It’s what you don’t know that hurts you” by Andrew Thomas on Inc.

It Takes 12 Positive Customer Experiences to Make Up for One Negative Experience” on Fresh Lime

“The ratio of positive to negative experiences” by Conor Healy on Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre website

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If you wanted to see some of the fantasy works I have written, check out my Portals Series < Click the title to see it.

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And as always, #writeyourownstory

7 thoughts on “The Negative and the Positive

  1. I believe in the movie “Pretty Woman”, Julia Roberts says “The bad stuff is easier to believe”. Why do we doubt the compliments and positive comments and yet believe without a doubt and hang on to the negatives? If anyone talked to someone I love the way I talk to myself, I’d jump into Momma Bear mode…so why do I think it’s ok to do it to myself?


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