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Negative Attitude: Understanding and Change

According to, a negative attitude is defined as ” a disposition, feeling, or manner that is not constructive, co-operative, or optimistic.

Do you suffer from having a negative attitude or know someone who does? It can be difficult to deal with these people. People that have negative attitudes can really bring down the mood of those around them.

People who struggle with being pessimistic or negative a good bit of their time are sometimes called a “sourpuss”, a “killjoy”, or a “negative Nancy”.

In this post we will cover the causes of a negative attitude as well as the effects and better yet, how to change those bad attitudes into positive attitudes.

Negativity quote

Difference between a “Bad Day” and a Negative Attitude

Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up late, rush around to get out of the house, miss the bus, and spill your coffee down the front of your shirt? That is a bad day, or at least the start to one. Once these things happen it kind of sets the “bad mood” we all know so well..

Spilled coffee down a shirt

These things happen. You have no control over them. Once you get to work on these days, usually the negativity wears off and later you may even laugh about it. Having a bad day is usually a one time occurence and it is usually temporary. Usually, we later in the day have positive thoughts again by the end of the day it is usually better

A negative attitude however, is something you can control. When you feel stressed in a work environment on a regular basis, no matter how smooth it goes, or when your significant other annoys you no matter how well they treat you. These are signs of a negative attitude that you indeed can control. These thoughts cause many “bad days” and those bad days become the norm..

Effects of Having a Negative Attitude vs a Positive Attitude

Negative attitudes will escalate every situation into a negative point of view and then a negative experience. No matter how well things will go, the person with a negative attitude will always see the down side and experience a negative feeling . Happiness will not be found for this person. They are filled with negative thoughts instead. Those negative thoughts and ideas they have play an important role in their behavior.

Negative attitudes will escalate every situation into a negative point of view and then a negative experience. No matter how well things will go, the person with a negative attitude will always see the down side. Happiness will not be found for this person. They are filled with negative thoughts instead. This can become a serious issue.

However bad the storm you are in, there is still sun somewhere over the horizon.

Ken Nutt

Causes of a Negative Attitude

A negative attitude can be caused by many things. Some are controllable and some are not.

10 Top Causes of a Negative Attitude

  • A strong desire to be in control. The person may have reason to feel they have complete control over the situation and therefore reacts negatively in fear of losing that control.
  • Needs help but is afraid to ask. Fear of asking for help due to fear of feeling embarrased or feel stupid.
  • Is defensive. Fear of getting hurt again. This is often shown in power struggles with others.
  • Doesn’t want to be compared. Easier to protect oneself and “go against the tide”.
  • Learned behavior. Aquired from our parent(s) or loved one over time.
  • Uncomfortable. May feel it is a sign of weakness. May be a sign of low self-esteem.
  • Trauma related. Some type of trauma or bad experience happened in the past and it has affected the peron long-term.
  • Fear of rejection. Afraid of not being included or turned away.
  • Has depression or anxiety. Emotionally reacts due to an underlying cause such as a chemical imbalances or a medical condition.
  • Feels like a victim. May have suffered a form of abuse or negative experiences in the past.
 Understand what causes a negative attitude and how you can correct it in this guide to understand and corecting a negative attitude.

Signs of a Negative Attitude

If you arent sure of whether you or someone else has a negative attitude, look for the signs. These are a surefire way to diagnose a negative attitude.

4 Signs of a Negative Attitude are:

  • Saying negative things. “I’m not good enough”, “It never works anyway”, General feeling of being incapable.
  • Comparing oneself to others in a negative way. “I wish I could do what she does.”
  • Blaming others for anything and everything. “It’s his fault because…”, “Well, she …” Frequent anger towards others.
  • Not willing to let the past go and move on. “It won’t work it never did before.”, “Everytime I did that it failed.”
  • Showing a lack of interest in common tasks. “That’s a waste of time.”
  • Showing a look of dissatisfaction no matter how good things are going.

How to Fix a Negative Attitude

Fixing a bad attitude can be a challenge. But it can be done. Once you are aware of why you have a bad attitude, changing it will be much easier. Let’s look at some possible suggestions for adjusting your negative attitude into a good attitude.

11 Suggestions for Changing a Negative Attitude into a Positive Attitude:

  • Get to the root of why you have the negative attitude. Are you not feeling well? Are you depressed? Something else?
  • Change your point of view. If your upset because your spouse is never home due to working a lot of hours, look at the ways you can be productive or have “me time” while they are gone.
  • Find someone that is positive. Put yourself in circles of peoplpe that have positive attitudes. Happiness is catchy!
  • Find some gratitude. Think about the things that are good in your life like your health, your family etc… *Bonus* Start a Gratitude Journal!
  • Keep your mind busy. Find things to do that avoid negativity. Read, draw, listen to music.
  • Say outloud or to a mirror, “I can and I will”.
  • Laugh and smile. Smiling and laughing releases endorphins in your brain which could lead to a better attitude.
  • Look into the future. Imagine your life if you had a positive attitude. What do you see? Let go of the past!
  • Find postive affirmations. Repeating positive sayings regularly is known to beneficial to you attitude and your mindset. Get a free Positive Affirmations Self Help E-Book!
  • Take responsibilty. Only you can control your actions and thoughts. Stop concentrating on the negative and instead concentrate on the positive.
  • Get counselling. Sometimes our problems are much bigger that we can handle. If this is the case seek professional therapy.

Where to Go from Here

Having a negative attitude affects you and everyone around you in a negative way. It brings out the “bad mood” we often see in negative people. By understanding what a negative attitude is and its possible causes, you can then take some steps to turn that bad attitude into a positive one.

Is your negative attitude due to having self-doubt? Take my 10-Day FREE email course and learn how to overcome that self doubt right now! Click the image below and enter your email to get started right away!

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