KFUCK Radio and The Negativity Bias

DCIM100GOPRO

“You’reeee listening to KFUCK radio.  The station bringing you your biggest regrets and greatest failures!

DCIM100GOPRO

We have a mind-numbing show planned for you today.  First up, we’ll talk about how Natalie gained three pounds over the holidays!  Those jeans just aren’t fitting the same.

DCIM100GOPRO

A little later, we’ll talk about Natalie’s most-recent career developments, or should I say, lack thereof?   We’ll delve into how important work is to a person’s happiness, how life is short, and how time goes by so fast!

DCIM100GOPRO

We also have some surprise guests with us!  Come on out…Natalie’s old boyfriend and his current girlfriend!  Welcome!  Welcome to the show!  How are things going with you two?  Any rings we should know about?  (Laughter)  My, Natalie, isn’t she successful?  She certainly is, Natalie.  And don’t they look happy, Natalie?  They do, a portrait of a perfect couple.  Say, Natalie, are you dating anyone now?  Well, no.  Have you even had a serious relationship since you broke up with….?  Let’s change the subject.

Up next, we’ll crack open the vault containing Natalie’s college years!  We’ll discuss at length her most memorable moments, making sure to idealize every one of those experiences.  We’ll do a compare and contrast, comparing the amount of responsibility she has now with the amount of responsibility she had then.

‘NATALIE!!!  Listen to me!!!  You’re great.  You are perfect as you are, don’t listen…’  What the hell?!  I apologize, everyone.  We seem to be experiencing some technical difficulties, KFUCK radio will be right back after this brief commercial break.  ‘Do you find that guys don’t seem to be interested in you?  Is your love life less than stellar?  We’ll we’ve got the product for you!…'”

DCIM100GOPRO

KFUCK radio is the worst radio show ever, and it should never be broadcasted.  Yet, it’s a program I listen to, some days, almost non-stop.

Some radio stations cycle through the golden oldies or today’s hits.  KFUCK radio prefers songs about self-doubt and self-deprecation.  Tracks like: “Sigh, Sigh, Sigh,” by Out of Sync;” Don’t Fuck Around,” by Thoughts of Pain; and “No Chubs” by NLC (TLC’s spin-off group, No Loving Care).

DCIM100GOPRO

Everyone has their own KFUCK station playing inside their heads, it just varies in terms of the volume.

DCIM100GOPRO

The negativity bias is one of the major reasons why KFUCK gets listeners and IAMAWESOME radio rarely has air time.  Which is to say, as human beings, we are hard-wired to be more negative than positive.   

The negativity bias is a psychological phenomenon by which human beings pay more attention to and give more weight to negative experiences than positive ones.  Our bodies generally react more intensely to negative stimuli than equally positive ones.  The left hemispheres of our brains are somewhat specialized for positive experiences while the right hemispheres focus more on negative ones.  It’s been proven that negative stimuli produce more neural activity than positive stimuli.  Negative events are quickly stored in our long-term memory banks, while in order to transfer a positive event to long-term memory, we have to think about that said positive event for 12 seconds or more.  We’re more sensitive and receptive to negative events than positive ones.

DCIM100GOPRO

The amagdylas of our brains use two-thirds of their neurons looking for bad news: or in other words, they’re ready and raring to go negative.   We remember, learn, and use information from our negative experiences more.  We also overestimate threats, underestimate opportunities, and underestimate resources (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-wise-brain/201010/confronting-the-negativity-bias).   In essence, it’s in our DNA to blow things out of proportion, worry too much, and beat ourselves up.  These are great evolutionary traits, they help us to find food, reproduce, and take care of our young, but they make for a shitty perspective from which to live your life.

Depressing?  It shouldn’t be, necessarily.  Over half of what makes people happy is determined by that person’s attitude, values, and behaviors.  There are the outside factors, like genetics, economic status and so on, and then there’s the 50+% that falls under your control.  In other words, we have a lot of control over these negative thoughts.  So what do we do when the negativity bias kicks in?

Try to be mindful that you’re genetically-programmed to be fearful and over-dramatic.  Your fears, like finding work or meeting Mr. Right, are useful fears, they motivate you to find those things.  But by recognizing that at a biological level, we tend to make things into a bigger deal than they really are, we can take a step back and stop taking ourselves so seriously.

Practice discarding negative feelings and thoughts as quickly as possible.  There are thousands of ways of doing this, and they are different for each person.  I like to think a thought that is the complete opposite of the thought that came up.  An action to symbolize ridding yourself of the negative thought also helps.  Going for a walk or opening the window are examples of same.

Do you listen to KFUCK radio?  What do you do when you want to turn it off?

DCIM100GOPRO

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “KFUCK Radio and The Negativity Bias

  1. This was so great, but turn that station off, gurrl! You need to harness some of my beeyotchiness. Surfing is a cleansing of the negative for you, I like a boot camp class or some kind of exercise or shopping (!) or gardening. Beautiful pix!

  2. Great post on negativity!
    Though looking at the surfing pictures was a great counterbalance to it.

    KFUCK: Hey, Thanks for calling KFUCK, El Guapo, what’s going on?
    El Guapo: I was just looking at Natalie’s surfing pics while sitting at my desk on a cold winter day
    KF: Wow, that sucks for you!
    EG: Hmph.

    And now I’m a little jealous. Think I’ll have to make time to jump in the water if it isn’t raining this weekend…

    (Thanks for the inspiration! Now tune out the radio and throw on your mp3 player. Surely you have some Jimmy Buffett on there?)

    • Thank you, EG! I will tune it out! My Jimmy Buffett supply is sparse, but I think I’ve got “Margaritaville” on there. Listening to Jimmy Buffett Pandora now. Wish you could borrow my GoPro so I could see some surfing photos from NY…

  3. Pingback: Friday Foolishness – Free Time Edition | Guapola

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s