Sunday, January 30, 2011

Back to March 29, 2010 — First Real Post

This is the first content-oriented blog posting on intelligentwomenonly.com. I'm getting ready to reorganize, recategorize, resummarize, maybe redesign, reconstruct, my blog. This original post will help new visitors to tune in to my tone, attitude, belief system about negative self-talk. I'll continue with Technique of the Week on Wednesdays while I'm fooling around and figuring out on Sunday/Mondays. As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas, criticism, comments and cheers!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Positive Thinking No Antidote to Negative Self-Talk

Women, from 13 to 60 plus, are experts at negative self-talk, or "overthinking" as Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Ph.D. refers to the NaSTy habit in her book Women Who Think Too Much. http://www.amazon.com/Women-Who-Think-Too-Much/dp/B0001LUGU2/ref=sr  Research shows that a larger percentage of women engage in negative thinking than men — and that it causes them to experience higher levels of stress.

In my opinion, personally and as a psychologist, intelligent women are even more likely to indulge; perhaps they're perfectionists putting themselves down, maybe they think rehashing, questioning, investigating all angles in their mind, reflects an analytic mind, a tenaciousness to fix everything and get relationships going well. It doesn't. NST is just a bad habit, like biting fingernails and chewing your cuticles, that wastes time and energy and produces nothing useful.

Positive thinking is also a bad habit, if you believe that thinking positively will make positive things happen. But recent research ( http://www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2009/07/i-am-lovable-person-not.cfm) as well as Barbara Ehrenreichs's new book Bright Sided shows clearly that it's not what it has been cracked up to be for the last twenty plus years. Negative thinking wins out when the two are competing. If you get rid of the negative first, then some realistic positive thinking (" I can make a plan to solve this problem" rather than "He'll stay married to me and give up the girlfriend because he really loves me and the kids") will help.

I'd like to hear some opinions, for or against or in the middle, from smart women out there.
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