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Positivity Ratio: If You Have One Negative Emotion, You Need Three Positive Ones to Counter It

Positivity Ratio: If You Have One Negative Emotion, You Need Three Positive Ones to Counter It

Your positive emotions radiate off of you into your environment, affecting the people in that space. People who match you in positive frequency will gravitate towards you. Being positive is the reason why desirable situations in life seem to find you. Opportune situations arise and it just so happens that you’re ready to take advantage of them. Positivity just may be the greatest element of persuasion. Would you ever let anyone who’s angry or doubtful convince you of anything?

It’s important to learn how to harness a surfeit of positive emotions that you can summon at will. We’ve all seen the person who seems to be so happy that their emotions seem disingenuous. You don’t have to be that person, your positivity can be real. You can experience true positive emotions without the air of phoniness.

There’s a positivity ratio inside everyone of us.

If you take the average individual and ask them to give you a list of negative emotions, they’ll probably be able to rattle off at least 5 to 10 different types. The answers will likely range from envy to shame to hatred. What about positive emotions? Wouldn’t it be better to have twice as many positive emotions come to mind?

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As human beings, our minds can drift back to whatever it is we have the most information about. Dr. Barbara Fredrickson refers to this as the positivity ratio.[1] Basically, you need to have more positive emotions to rely on than negative ones. If you make it a point to store lots of information on positive emotions, you’re more likely to experience those things. Information changes experiences.

Negative emotions do not carry as much power as positive ones do.

Two individuals can face the same experience but the one with a wide variety of positive emotions will prevail. Why? Negative emotions do not carry as much power. No matter what the situation is that is being faced, the person who is able to better control their emotions will have the victorious outcome.

Consider that the human brain is not designed to maintain happiness, it is designed to keep us alive. The reticular activating system is meant to let us see potential opportunity and danger. People must take it upon themselves to be very intentional about having multiple degrees of positivity to choose from. Yes, you’ll have to take action in order to live better experiences. But your actions will be meaningless unless you have the proper information.

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Human has 12 different positive emotions, it’s about arousing them.

Dr. Fredrickson, the author of Positivity, emphasizes the importance of being intentional about our emotions. She outlines a basic method of harnessing more positivity without being the cliché, fake happy person.

There are about 12 different positive emotions; gratitude, joy, serenity, interest, pride, hope, amusement, inspiration, love, altruism, relief, and awe.[2]

Fredrickson defines 10 of these 12 emotions in her book, leaving out altruism and relief. These positive emotions allow you to your face challenges with a clear head and operate on higher levels. Positive emotions change both your biochemistry and you’re mindset simultaneously.

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We can trigger certain muscles within your body and arouse positive emotions.

The next time you feel that a smile could do you some good but you’re not particularly in the mood, try this exercise.[3] Lift up the corners of your mouth stretching the corners back towards your ears while raising your eyebrows. Tilt your head upward and hold this expression for 20 seconds or longer if it feels natural.

Emotions such as regret and disappointment can dredge up negative emotions. Regrets can also signify that you have not moved on from the situation. Experience the psychological benefit of writing down what it is that you need to get over, seal it in an envelope and symbolically moving on. The exercise was conducted by associate professor of marketing, Xiuping Liu, at the National University of Singapore Business School. Liu found that those who participated in the exercise felt better and achieved psychological closure.[4] Iris Hung from the National University of Singapore made an incredible discovery about willpower. By simply tensing up your muscles, you can increase the amount of willpower you feel in your body.

The ideal positivity ratio is 3:1.

It’s ideal to have three positive emotions for every one negative emotion that brings you down.

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Completely eliminating negativity is not the goal, it’s not possible or healthy. Broaden your awareness so that you are more capable of seeing all of the good that is around you. By becoming more mindful of your emotions, you teach yourself to value positivity to a greater degree.

Increase your inner awareness by being more observant of your emotions. Track your positivity ratio throughout the day and give greater priority to the activities that bring you happiness. Be curious, this is a positive emotion too. Use your curiosity to remain open to experiencing something new and expecting good to come from it.

Reference

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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