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7 Roots Of Negative Emotions You Need To Identify And Weed Out

7 Roots Of Negative Emotions You Need To Identify And Weed Out

When it comes to succeeding in life, your greatest enemy is hidden in your mind, in a form of negative emotions. As Henry Ford said: whether you believe that you can or you can’t, you are right. Negative emotions are one of the main causes for self-doubt, dissatisfaction in life and looking for excuses for not doing something.

Fortunately, they aren’t entrenched in your mind for good so you can get rid of them. The perfect point to start at is determining the roots of negative emotions which is what I’ll discuss in this article. By doing this, you open your way to more happiness and success.

1. Comparing yourself to others.

“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.”

Shannon L. Alder

In the world of social media, this became incredibly easy and tempting. As you scroll down your Facebook feed or check out Instagram photos, you are bombarded with highlights of other people’s lives. It’s rare when folks share their insecurity and obstacles. So as you are irradiated with best parts of others’ lifestyle and compare it to your worst moments, it can be really depressing.

The fact is, comparing yourself to others doesn’t serve you well. It’s ineffective to make an in-depth analysis in your mind based only on a surface. Even if some people appear incredibly confident, be aware that they simply developed a higher tolerance of uncertainty. They may still have doubts and problems, but their external self doesn’t show that to the outside world.

If you compare yourself to others, you should give up doing it immediately. The only person you should measure yourself with is your past self.

2. Repeating negative affirmations.

Your brain is a powerful tool, but for most of the people, it works against you by default. It requires some effort to make it function for your good. This begins with replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations.

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Negative affirmations can literally paralyze your ability to become happy and succeed. Once you repeat them long enough, you start to believe in the wrong vision you created in your mind.

Luckily, the same rule applies to positive affirmations: repeating them over and over again makes you believe in these words. Consequently, weeding out the negative emotions almost automatically.

3. Underestimating your abilities.

You should never judge your skills against your favor. Always assume that you can do something and then go for it. If you fail, that just means you need to put more work into it.

Underrating your competencies boosts self-doubt and lowers your self-esteem which is the best environment for negative emotions to thrive.

Pay more attention to your attitude when it comes to facing new challenges and pursuing your goals. Do you easily come up with excuses and tend to rationalize?

If that happens, try to mute the negative inner voice and listen to the reasons why you can. It will surely impact your confidence and remove the bad energy from your mind.

You should use the internal dialog to help you to find reasons to believe in yourself.

4. Avoiding the full responsibility for your life.

Being content and satisfied involves fully accepting your influence on your life and using it properly. Whether you believe it or not, you are the master of your universe.

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Nowadays, when the technology is highly advanced and people more open-minded than ever before, you can live your life on thousands different ways. The best part is, it’s fully up to you.

Sure, you can point some external factors like the economy or your environment, but as I said, in today’s world you have countless other options.

Blaming factors you can’t control for your problems leads to a spike of negative emotions. However, once you accept that you are the king on your own planet, making a change for better becomes a matter of time.

5. Staying around negative people.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Jim Rohn

Your environment has a huge impact on your thoughts and actions. If you surround yourself with five intelligent people, you’ll soon become the sixth one. If there are only negative folks around you, eventually you’ll spread the negativity just like they do. That’s why you should pay attention to your surroundings.

One of the best ways to weed out the negative emotions is to spend more time with cheerful people. Bellyaches and complainers hurt both you and themselves so avoid them at all cost.

Positive people aren’t cheery and bright by accident, but because they separate themselves from the negative energy.

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6. Looking for other people’s approval.

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” Steve Jobs

Through socialization, we adopt an unnatural need to look for the external stimulants in a form of others’ approval. We carefully analyze our behavior so that we aren’t judged and pointed out by the society.

The truth is, however, the crowd is a bad indicator for what’s right for you. It’s because the masses aren’t authentic to their true selves. Instead, they stick to current norms and go with the flow.

The fact is, you will be completely fine once you face disapproval. Furthermore, you’ll be proud of abandoning the need for validation.

However, when you keep pay attention to how others perceive you, you become a slave. In lieu of pursuing your passions and sticking to your own rules, you go against yourself to please others.

The unavoidable consequence is a life full of regret which you definitely don’t want to live.

This article is a good starting point to discover the stuff you don’t need anyone’s approval for.

6. Saying yes when you mean no.

The ability to say no at the right moment is what defines a fully grown-up and responsible person. Plenty of adults still struggle to develop this precious skill. As a result, they end up lost in unnecessary commitments, tons of debt, excess obligations and negative emotions.

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You should never agree on something only to please others. This usually leads to problems and actually hurts both you and the person that asked for a favor.

When deep in your mind you feel like you should say no, it’s the best sign to do so. You know better what’s good for you so don’t let others influence your decisions.

Choosing between “yes” and “no” properly is a huge indicator of self-respect and confidence which are one of the key elements for more positivity in your life.

7. Contemplating about your past mistakes.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

L.M. Montgomery

Whatever messy and awkward things you did in the past should stay in the past. There’s no need to regret your bygone mistakes. Instead, learn from them and make sure not to repeat them in the future.

You can’t turn back the clock so stop getting back to unpleasant moments only to ruin your mood. Making mistakes is a human nature and the way we learn.

The real mistake isn’t when you it, but when you fail to correct it.

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Oskar Nowik

Oskar is a blogger and the author of "Brightening: The Positive Attitude That Will Change Your Life"

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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