On the Benefits of Negativity

“Nobody likes a Negative Nancy,” or so the saying goes. But as it turns out, she may actually have a leg up on the rest of us when it comes to goal attainment and balancing expectations with results. Recent studies show that if you brace yourself for the worst while waiting on news, you won’t be as upset about failure at the moment of truth, but you will be happier if the news is good. On the other hand, if you are confident in an expectation of success while waiting for news, failure will feel devastating and success won’t feel nearly as good. The unfortunate trade-off is that those feeling pessimistic also show a decrease in motivation.

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