This is related to some of the discussion raised in this thread but spurred by a recent discussion I was involved in out in the real world.
The basic idea is that we tend to engage in negative self-talk (the conversation we have with ourselves in our own heads). We mull over events and conversations in a way that tends to reinforce negative ideas. Perhaps it can lead to blaming others for past disappointments. A new situation arises and that bit of negative self-talk comes raging out of our head and makes us react in a disproportionate way to the new situation.
I should give an example. My partner likes to be asked how she feels rather than being someone who will tell me without prompting; it's nice to be asked. In the past it has made me feel that she wouldn't be open with me and I ended up feeling she didn't care about me. So that piece of negative self-talk has set firm in my head. It means that when a new situation happened and she hadn't told me how she felt I would instantly blame her and tell her she didn't care. In effect going from 0 to 100 mph in 1 second. An emotional ambush. When you tell someone that they don't want to talk openly to you, then it doesn't encourage them to open up. The opposite in fact. Imagine doing that for 20 to 30 years and how much less open someone is prepared to be with you. Bad.
I thought I had better give an example because otherwise it looks as if I'm pontificating. If you accept the idea that the conversation in ones head tends to negatively reinforce past insecurities or disappointments, it leads to some interesting conclusions.
One is that the more you sit around mulling these things over then the less positive your actions will be in life. Thoughts are the parents of action. Acting on disappointment leads to blame and to anger. Anger is a bit like drunkenness. It controls your actions instead of you being in control. A drunk can stop drinking. An angry person doesn't have that easy excuse. Also angry words and actions never get forgotten and they reinforce. So the lack of respect you get for being angry once aggregates over time until respect has diminished to nothing.
Another conclusion is that negative thoughts hold you back when you act. If those thoughts weren't there then how much more positive would you be when you act? I'm not even talking about thinking positively just not negatively. I'm not inferring that the less you think the better you will act. I actually did have this feeling before, as if I could blame poor outcomes on thinking too much. It now feels like a cop out as if I had no choice. The thought that negative self talk has held me back is difficult to take but it's an obvious conclusion. Have I said things out of anger because I've let negative conclusions form in my head; which come out at the wrong moment? Yes definitely.
The hope that you will dispel negative self-talk from your head is a vain hope I think. Let's be humans. We aren't that perfect. It is a more reasonable expectation to understand that these negative thoughts will occur. Just be aware of them when they happen. Then the obvious conclusion will be that those thoughts will hold us back; and may lead to anger- the great Satan. Sense prevails. Short circuiting negative thinking and realising where those bad thoughts are coming from; why you feel disappointed about something or that you are quietly blaming someone for your situation. At least you are dealing with these things internally and not spewing bad feelings over other people. That is enough of a goal for any one lifetime. As I mentioned, it's good to be positive and that would be the ultimate goal. Some are more positive than others. This is about not holding yourself back by natural negative thinking. It's about respecting those around you by not blaming them for how you feel.
Believe me, I'm at the start of this process. My respect kudos quotient with people around me is slowly going back up. If I get as far as vocalising something negative now; I'm much quicker to apologise for it.
This is a great place to write this. Sandy seems to innately understand this. I wrote her recently just to say what a "really nice person" she is. I'm not the only one who thinks that around here. Her beliefs might be a spur to act so well to others but there are plenty of really angry religious people out there so it's not as simple as that.