Being Too Negative In Social Situations

I've noticed as a group socially unskilled people are more susceptible to becoming too negative. Negativity is multifaceted and shows up differently in everyone. Broadly speaking though, negative people are more likely to focus on and bring up the flaws in situations, or talk about things they dislike. They have a cynical, pessimistic attitude.

They may be straight up moody or grumpy. They might have more of a subtle prickly, sarcastic edge. They may deliver all their comments in a casual, matter of fact way, where no one realizes they're being negative in the moment, and only piece it together later when they think, "Why do I always feel so depleted after I talk to them?"

Negativity hinders people in two ways: First, it's just draining to be around someone who's injecting unpleasant emotions and vibes into every conversation. It's not that their points are never valid, but it wears people down to always be subjected to that perspective. Secondly, someone's a lot less likely to do things to improve their social life if they see the worst in everything. They're going to be held back in making friends if they keep finding flaws in everyone they meet, or they're too critical toward their own efforts to make changes.

Targets for negativity

People can direct their negativity at a number of things. Everybody occasionally has thoughts like the ones below. It's a matter of degree, whether someone is constantly dwelling on the bad side of things or not:

When someone is blatantly negative it's pretty obvious, but people can also do it in a more subtle manner, where they may not even realize how often you're acting that way.

Signs you may be too negative

Reasons people can be too negative

There are many reasons someone can end up being negative too often. Most of them are understandable. It's not like people intentionally set out to be pessimistic downers. They just fall into it without realizing how they got there. I think there are two general ways people can become overly negative:

The first is that a gloomy perspective is a side effect of other problems in their lives:

The second way people can become overly negative is when it's a behavior that becomes habitual, or a personality trait that gets over-expressed. Someone may see their negativity as a useful trait:

The difficulty of breaking the negativity habit

I said earlier that being too negative can be like a bad habit. It can be a hard one to break for a number of reasons:

A few ideas on how to be less-negative