"Setting off" negative thoughts and why?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/13/2009 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all great website, my other post was answered very well and made me feel a lot better.
I have wanted to have a discussion about this for a long time, but couldnt find a good place to it. Im a pretty normal person, in other words you couldnt just look at me and say "Oh that guy has a problem." Im not trying to stereo type anyone, but i consider myself a normal guy.
My problem has always been that i tend to dwell mentally on the negative things more then positive. The reason why i say mentally is because i let things eat at me througout the day rather then go into a rage or get really angry like some people do. I talk to loved ones if i have any issues but while it helps, the issue still stays in my mind.
Like in my first post about my car accident, its hard for me to let things go i guess, even though i know when something is in the past it cant be delt with anymore, its hard for me to just forget about it. A good example (and what led me to posting this) was last night, i was with my girlfriend and buddy watching a game on TV. Everything was fine and we were having a great time. My buddy told me for his Bday that he was going to have some people over to his house for a barbaque. No problem with that, it will be fun. Then he tells me he is inviting two friends of his that i do not like at all, and they dont like me. We are civil dont get me wrong but i dont care for them. The minute he said that my mind thought about the actions they did that led me to not like them. I starting judging myself saying i should have done more in the situation when it happened and that it could happen again when i see them which i know would make me angry.
Without getting into the whole story, they didnt do anything big, basically they are a couple drunks that like to flap thier gums when they drink, so it gets annoying. The last time i saw them one of them got in my face (not to fight or anything) yelling about this and that and just cracking jokes. Who wants a drunk person 6" from thier face acting like an idiot?
So just by something as small as that, it caused me to think about it all night and think about possible scenarios that could happen again when i see them at this get together. Because of that, all day today i have been thinking about negative things. Nothing drastic, but just anything that has happened to me that werent the greatest times in the world. I feel like that one negative thought leads me to a bunch of other negative thoughts that usually lasts about 24 hours.
I just sometimes wonder why our brains can be so stuck on negative when there is so much good going on also. I have so much good going for me now and so many positive things going on that i cant believe i stick to all these negative things. And why would something as little as a drunk guy in my face being an idiot set off so much thoughts? And why do i even care about that incident in the first place?
Being pessimistic im guessing would be the name of what im doing, but i just sometimes wonder - whats the deal with sticking to negative in the mist of so much positive?

Post Edited (P11) : 5/13/2009 1:48:01 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 341
   Posted 5/13/2009 4:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Believe it or not everyone has this thinking.

Its normal to dwell on past events. As they have affected your life in one way or another. Some major events some minor. But in one form they have changed you. Be it surroundings or thinking. They way you act in situations.

Everyone wishes they could change something. Done something different. Its normal. And happens to everyone. Not just yourself. It is not strange or unusual in any form.
Now how you handle it makes the difference. I for one when I start to think of things that happened way back when and if I would of or wished it was different. I remind myself how things done different then would of effected where I'm at now. And the NOW is what matters. I can do what I can in the now. And make sure I have no more things I would change. Just live now for what I can and be "ok" with what happened months,years etc before.

I got married at 17 had my first child at 19. If I had waited would I of still given birth to my now 16 year old daughter? I would of changed my getting married and having my first child so young. But I would NOT give her up what so ever. So I have taken what was not the best choice at the time into something much more positive. I have a wonderful 16 year old daughter who I love much more then the mistake I made. She is of course not a mistake what so ever. But the marriage was. She is the blessing in that event.

So take what has happened and find something positive in the situation. Like this person jumping in your face. You did the right thing by not jumping in his face and fighting. You were the better person. And in turn should feel good about it. Instead of feeling bad about it. Feel good that you were the better man in that whole scene. Most men would of pulled out the "macho" stick and walked away in pain for a stupid reason. Instead you were the man and didn't. Kudos to you.

Just like your accident. Yes it was a very bad situation. But what have you learned from it? Are you a better driver? Do you pay closer attention to what goes on around you? Have you learned to accept situations better?
Everything has a learning experience. Its just finding what it is that has been that lesson can take some time and thinking. Accepting it is the next part.
You did great in the first situation. Keep that in mind. And if it comes up again. Walk away. Or leave before it can happen.
I know the chance of it happening again is in your mind and always will be. But enjoy the time you can. Even if it is a little uncomfortable at first. It will probably ease up some.

Good luck!

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4835
   Posted 5/14/2009 5:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey P11 - when I read your post I thought I was looking in the mirror.
The good thing about "dwelling" on things like you do is that you're getting release/relief from day to day stress and NOT doing the rage thing.
As long as you’re still fully functional – not locking yourself in the house for days on end to dwell on things – you should be good to go.
I brought the same subject up at the end of a session with my shrink several years ago. He basically mentioned the same thing I’m mentioning here.
Can you by any chance turn it around and dwell on really positive things and put yourself in a really good mood?

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/15/2009 11:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much guys for the replies.

Like allesteria said, i really have learned a lot. The more i think about it the more i can see how much it has really changed me. I sometimes wish or think that even though i have learned a lot i wish it didnt cost me thousands of dollars and hours of my life worrying about it. Its sometimes hard to come to terms with the fact that i have to learn "the hard way". But in all reality im a completely different person after that accident and have learned things that i would have never learned otherwise.

As far as the bday, i dont really care anymore, but i do feel its a recipe for disaster. That is a little exageratted but i firmly believe you should seperate yourself from situations that could go bad, whether its social activites or something as simple as walking into a bar on a holiday when you know its going to be crazy. But there is a fine line because you also dont want to turn paranoid. Lately after dating the person im currently with, i have been more social and doing more things. I have never been like that because i have a close group and dont really feel like i need a million friends. What i have seen over and over is that while these new people im meeting are generally good people, they have a lot of baggage, in other words they know people that know people that are not who i like. This is a small town so even if you dont like someone they are usually around. Im trying to juggle being more social without getting into trouble.

Steve n Dallas, you brought up a really good point, sometimes i do wonder why we cant focus on the positive instead of negative. I guess so much emotion comes with the negative thats its easier to concentrate on.

If anyone else has any other input please feel free to post..
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