Negativism, A Pathological Refusal To Be Distinguished From A Negative Attitude

Last updated by Lauren Hart

Sometimes I see the glass half empty. I grumble. I’m not happy with my life. Yes, it happens to me and it can happen to all of us. But is that what we call negativism? Well, no! It’s important to distinguish between negativism, which is more of a pathology, and a negative attitude, which is a behavior. Let me explain.

Negativism, A Pathological Refusal To Be Distinguished From A Negative Attitude

What is negativism?

In the article “History of Negativism in German-Language Psychiatry - 19th Century, Early 20th Century” published in a psychology bulletin in 1995, the author Michel Caux explains that the term “negativism” appeared in the history of psychiatry in 1874, with the psychiatrist Kahlbaum:

“This symptom refers to the generalized resistance of certain patients to encouragement and stimuli from those around them. From a psychomotor point of view, the author describes maximum resistance which responds automatically to any suggestion or injunction from a third party, in response to the simplest commands.”

👋 You may be interested in this article: What are the symptoms of depression?

A protection mechanism

Initially, negativism came from the psychiatric world. One of the definitions given by the Larousse dictionary is as follows: “All refusal and opposition behaviors that reflect a breakdown in contact with others in schizophrenia”. The National Center of Textual and Lexical Resources (CNRTL) refers to “a pathological attitude characterized by an individual’s voluntary or involuntary resistance to their own desires or needs and to the requests of those around them”.

In short, negativism is an attitude of denigration, refusal, or resistance that can be observed in two forms:

  • 👉 The passive form is one that refrains from responding: the person suffering from it will, for example, want to eat nothing, stay in bed or in an identical position for hours.
  • 👉 The active form, on the other hand, opposes and resists by doing the opposite of the action requested.

To a different degree, this behavior can be found at all stages of life, particularly in young children and teenagers. Without going so far as talking about schizophrenia or mental illness, it seems that negativism can just as easily appear from time to time in our lives, at difficult moments, for example when we’re going through the stages of bereavement.

This form of withdrawal into yourself then most certainly acts as a form of protection, through criticism and refusal of everything 🤕.

The difference between negativism and a negative attitude

While negativism is a psychiatric term and can prove to be a pathology that requires real treatment from a professional, having a negative attitude is something else. Although the two terms are similar, they don’t have the same meaning.

👉 Being negative is a behavior that makes us see things as black and the glass as half empty; it means not being able to be satisfied with what’s happening to us, leaving more room for negative emotions than positive ones, which of course makes us unhappy.

It’s therefore important not to confuse negativism, which is a pathology, with a negative attitude, which is more akin to a state of mind. However, we shouldn’t minimize the effects of the latter either, which can be a heavy burden to bear on a daily basis and can sometimes be difficult to get rid of once it’s well established 😥.

>>> Read; Why can I never see the positive in anything?

How to overcome the negative?

If this negative state of mind is spoiling your life, and you really want to give it up but can’t do it alone, consulting a psychologist can help you to set the record straight: start again and relearn, slowly, on a healthier basis.

We all have baggage in life, filled with things that are more or less heavy to carry. It’s not a question of being ashamed of it or feeling guilty about it, simply of knowing how to identify it so that we can move forward with it or, on the contrary, understand that it’s not useful and that we can leave it behind.

A few tips for changing your attitude

To conclude, and even if they in no way replace personalized coaching, here are a few tips for trying to start changing a negative attitude that’s bothering you. Ideas that, on a small level, have already inspired me personally 🤗.

  • The first is to remember that every day is a new day, a new opportunity. If I’m the one holding the pen that writes my life, then I can, to some extent, decide that tomorrow won’t look like yesterday if yesterday didn’t suit me.
  • The second is the famous quote from Seneca that says that "Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning to dance in the rain”. I find this thought very reassuring: to tell ourselves that life’s like the weather, changeable, and that we’re not condemned to live forever in the rain. A sunny spell is never far away!

Editor’s note - The need for treatment in both cases

You now know what negativism is and that it concerns a very specific pathology. So it’s crucial to have full treatment with a psychiatrist and a psychologist. However, if you’ve identified that it’s your thoughts that are causing you to be in the doldrums, you should also seek help. You can’t remain in this state of suffering, and only the support of a therapist can bring you relief. Don’t wait any longer to contact a psychologist and get yourself out of this negative attitude!

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!

#BornToBeMe

Be sure to check out these articles too;

Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

Read our latest articles here:

Do Narcissists Enjoy Kissing?

Kissing is a deeply intimate act, and although in popular culture it is often classed as only being worthy of first base, it does in fact go way beyond that toxic evaluation. We have no doubt all had at least one lingering kiss that we’ll never forget; one which left all of our senses tingling and hungry for more. 💏 Well, that memorable smooch left us reminiscing because it was sincere and meant something. In short, it encapsulated love and romance, which are two things that narcissists are quite simply incapable of feeling.

How Do You Know A Narcissist Is Cheating?

Narcissism is wholly incompatible with healthy relationships, which goes some way in explaining why people with this personality disorder always believe the grass is greener elsewhere. Indeed, fidelity isn’t something they excel in and adds to their exhaustive list of weaknesses alongside their love of manipulation and dishonesty. 💔 However, they are so cunning and crafty that catching them out and confirming your intuitions is no easy feat. To make things easier for you, here are the 10 signs you need to look out for if you believe your narcissistic man is cheating on you.

I Never Thought I’d Say This, But I Hate Working From Home…

Work has always been a synonym of repression for me because it takes up so much of our precious time. Let’s be honest, a 9-5 job with a horrendous daily commute often means that work is sadly our sole occupation. So, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck over a year ago, and we were all ordered to stay home, I found it hard to hide my joy in front of my distraught coworkers; although thankfully my acting talents saved me. You can probably already tell, but going into the office every day was nothing less than torture for me. Yet, all these months later, I’ve realized that I despise working from home and would do anything to sit in my uncomfortable office chair once again!

Do Narcissists Play The Victim?

If you have ever had the displeasure of encountering someone with a narcissistic personality disorder, then you’ll no doubt already know how manipulative they are. Indeed, these folks despise taking responsibility for their actions and will do whatever it takes to avoid taking the rap for them, including play the victim. That’s right, these master puppeteers won’t hold back on pulling the strings and changing the narrative so that it suits them. Plus, they know exactly how to turn the waterworks when they want to get people on side.

I Have A Problem With Authority, Argh!

With all the orders my parents gave me, I thought I was armed for school, but as soon as I was at pre-school, my parents were summoned because I refused to do what the teacher told me. As I grew up, it became increasingly difficult to tell my manager where to get off, summoning my parents was no longer an option, but the intolerance to authority remained. Can we reconcile ourselves with authority, whether it is a silent or uncontrollable difficulty?

Can You Sleep With Someone On The First Date?: Judgement Free Zone

“Never on the first night!” We’ve all heard or uttered this phrase before. But here you are, in front of someone attractive, looks are exchanged, and the temperature rises little by little. This is when the angel and the demon on your shoulders start the debate: Is it better to wait before sleeping with this stranger? Or can you give in to the temptation? You wouldn’t want to be thought of as promiscuous, but at the same time, you only live once. We’ll tell you right now how much patience you can or can’t have!

My Sister Is Jealous Of Me

“In any case, you’re the favorite.” I’ve heard this phrase coming from my sister’s mouth over and over again. For a long time, her jealousy spoiled our lives, but I only wanted one thing: for us to be close and united. She poured her resentment in my face for many years until it got out of control. I couldn’t stand feeling so much anger and guilt at the same time. Soothing 30 years of jealousy hasn’t been easy, but there are ways to avoid getting to that point. I didn’t want jealousy to cut me off from my sister!

10 Signs You Are Dating A Narcissist

Even though we all grew up dreaming of the perfect Disney-esque romance, we no doubt all wholeheartedly agree that relationships certainly aren’t easy, yet they are made even tougher when a narcissistic partner is added to the mix. As someone who has previously dated a guy with a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), I’ve decided to share the 10 ultimate red flags and warning signs that your Prince Charming is actually more of a poisonous frog than anything else.

Am I A Narcissist?

You are no doubt here because people have pointed out to you that you love being the center of attention and on top of that, you have a huge sense of entitlement, right? Or perhaps it’s because you lack empathy and have a grandiose sense of self-importance? If you are nodding your head to either of the previous scenarios, the following signs in our narcissist test will in fact reveal whether you have narcissistic traits that could be diagnosed as a disorder. Our 10 steps diagnostic tool is here to confirm or refute your suspicions, so let’s get started.

What Will A Narcissist Say To Get You Back?

If you have recently broken things off with your narcissistic partner, you should be prepared for them to launch a torrent of attempts at getting you back. The stark reality is that narcissists have a hard time moving on and fail to realize that the end of a relationship is synonymous with their victim or should I say ex, putting an end to their tyrannical reign. In short, these skilled manipulators never give up and always have something up their sleeve to win you back. They certainly aren’t prepared to give up their role as the puppet master without a fight.

Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist

wengood

  1. Only LoveBen Howard
    4:08
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
    4:55
  4. Beautiful DayU2
    4:08
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
    4:41
  6. White FlagDido
    4:00
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
    4:13
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
    3:15
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
    3:35
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
    4:24
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
    3:07
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
    4:37
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
    3:46
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    2:19
  15. With Or Without YouU2
    4:56
  16. HelloAdele
    4:55
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
    3:29
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
    3:21
  19. WingsBirdy
    4:12
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar
    3:41

How to detect a narcissist

How to detect a narcissist

How to soothe an anxiety attack

How to soothe an anxiety attack