Why is it that we sometimes focus on the negative over the positive? It seems that there have been times when I could hear 100 compliments and then receive one complaint and my mind somehow manages to forget all about the compliments and focuses solely on the complaint.
I know I’m not the only one who does this as people have been quick to point out their own complaints or frustrations to me without voicing any positives aspects at all. I know that they must have experienced something positive, but for some reason or another, they simply chose to only express the negative.
I’ve seen this in job reviews as well. Supervisors spend 5 minutes encouraging their workers for the good job that they have done in many areas and then spend the other 55 minutes focusing on everything that employee needs to work on. Is this somehow supposed to support growth? Does a constant focus on the negative somehow affirm and support positive behavior?
This point is hammered home to me through my children. It’s too easy, especially after a long day, to focus on the things that they are doing wrong, but do I encourage them when I see them doing something right? Do I acknowledge obedience, creativity, kindness or do I simply point out the antithesis of all of these things? Children learn what they live, so if I’m failing in this area, chances are, I’m teaching them to fail in the same area.
God has given me a lot of abilities, strengths, and talents which I should be using and enhancing. I’m not saying that I don’t focus on improving myself across the board, but if I have the opportunity to choose between making something that is good better, why should I be focusing on making something that is mediocre a little less mediocre?