Last night I spilled some sweet and sour sauce on the floor while having some lumpia. I thought I had cleaned most of it up before I returned to eating, but I had not. I stepped on a biggish dot of it (socks on) and stamped it all over my house. I didn’t notice it until the next morning.
I was annoyed and while cleaning up the tracks I wondered if the irritation actually outweighed the level of satisfaction of this particular dinner. It did.
They say that negative feelings are at least 5 times stronger than the positive feelings. Like if you found a $100 dollar bill, you would be psyched for sure but if you lost it later that day, the pain of that loss will be felt 5 more times than when finding it.
This is kind of proof that we are motivated by “avoiding pain” more than “seeking pleasure”.
Could it work in reverse? Do we feel a feeling 5x more after someone disses us versus gives us a compliment? We do.
Does this mean it’s 5x harder to be nice? No, but you could say it takes 5 acts of niceness to have the equal impact of 1 act of meanness, so yes?