On the Training Journal Digest, that has been part of my daily routine for a few years now,(http://www.trainingjournal.com/) we have been discussing a thread of "reinforcing the negative", prompted by a recent Radio 4 interview with Robert Cialdini.
In part of the programme (as in his book) he explored the influencing effects of reinforcing the negative. For example reporting in GP surgeries the amounts of people who missed appointments does nothing to improve the situation and creates a social proof that it is acceptable and the norm to miss appointments. The press and media create newsworthy stories by accentuating and reinforcing the negatives.
As so often happens, when unconsciously following a theme, I had a gift of an experience one morning last week...
In the ladies changing room in the gym I go to in the mornings, the recent topic of conversation has been the new routines of children starting, changing and returning to school. As I am past that stage with mine, I smile with nostalgia and carry on drying between my toes. This morning I overheard the best of all:
Mother 1 "How is xxx settling in now?"
Mother 2 "Oh, she's OK. She's had a few more wobbles, but this week it's been a bit better. She asks me every day "Mummy, did you worry about me today?" and I say "yes of course darling - all day."
In what ways might you notice yourself reinforcing the negatives today?