When bad stuff happens to a person, he seems to be able to remember and harp on it a lot more than the good stuff that has happened to him.

For instance, if a person got into a car accident and ended up having to pay a few thousand for repairs, he might keep cursing and dwell on this particular incident for years to come.. whereas if a person found a $100 note on the floor he might not dwell on it that much.

Of course the person would still be able to remember the $100 note he picked up, except that he won't be able to remember it unless he forced (or choose) himself to sometimes, whereas for a particular bad incident he would be able to remember it very easily.

asked 25 Jul '12, 21:23

kakaboo's gravatar image


It is a protection mechanism meant to keep us safe next time. Our body creates stress hormones. Every time we remember/relive the experience, we produce the stress hormones again, reinforcing the emotional connection to the event.

Another aspect is the response we get from others. If we are trying to elicit a response from another person, ie sympathy, support, help, etc... that they don't know how to ask for, then they get stuck in this cycle of talking about the problems.

Where as with finding money, some people might feel jealous, so telling them might be uncomfortable. We have been trained not to brag about our accomplishments or good fortune. It makes other people feel uncomfortable or something. So we don't get the same satisfaction from sharing good news as bad news.


answered 30 Jul '12, 11:25

Fairy%20Princess's gravatar image

Fairy Princess

The reason we tend to remember bad things is due to our defenses. If I touch a hot stove, I need to remember that it hurt, and to not do it again. If I get into a car accident, due to a mistake I made, I learn (albeit the hard way) to drive more carefully. All our bad memories are a sort of protection that keeps us from repeating behaviors that will hurt us.

But when we re-feel and re-feel bad memories, we get into the area of either Post-Traumatic Stress...or Resentment. PTSD is when we have flashbacks and anxiety over something bad that happened to us, and we need counseling and help to De-sensitize ourselves to the memories. But If we are "re-feeling and re-feeling" those memories, the we are developing "re-sentment"- which literally translates from the Latin into re-sentir- sentir meaning to feel, to sense. We relive what that so-and-so did to us until we develop hate and anger over the bad thing. This is a deadly place for our souls, and these situations need to be resolved and let go of...through prayer and talking. Anger eats its own container!

These are some of the reasons we tend to remember bad over good memories. It takes self-discipline to learn to remember good memories over bad. It can be done! Just re-live and re-live the good. It is a habit worth developing.


Jaianniah ♥♥♥


answered 30 Jul '12, 11:36

Jaianniah's gravatar image


edited 30 Jul '12, 11:37

If a person that got into a car accident, got a new car, didn't have to pay, nothing happened to anyone involved physically, and he knew he has done all he could, he'd forget it just as fast. So what does that tell us? People will dwell on something only if there's a lesson to learn from it, or a regret of some sort. - "I could have... reacted faster, hit the breaks harder, gone another way, avoided it if I didn't talk on phone".

Regret, is the most destructive force. But when does regret appear? Only when the person who regrets BELIEVES that he could have done something better. In other words, he/she is AWARE of the FACT he did not do his best. Why didn't he do his best? Because so much often people get by with their MEDIOCRE state of being. Being AVERAGE most of the time is "GOOD ENOUGH" for so many occasions in your day. I don't know why people do that s***. Living your best is living RIGHT NOW and without FEARS, that's what they should do.

Every time I do something in an average way, I want to slap myself across the face right after. Last time I checked when I was in primary school, it was regarded as American kind of mentality to go around with "I'm the best" attitude. In my country it was regarded as selfish. They should teach that mentality everywhere. And I don't mean just to go around saying I'm the best, but having those words backed up with action. Being a CHAMPION in every single act throughout your day.


answered 26 Jul '12, 01:54

CalonLan's gravatar image


edited 26 Jul '12, 02:00

I tend to lean towards the reason being it is easier to slip and fall down a hill than it is to climb up that hill. In other words we can get down and depressed if even slightly and that takes no work. Think on water being our state of mind and the valley is the depression but the hill is the happiness. So our default state of being (The state we can slip into by making no choice and doing nothing) is that depression state. If this is the default state then in this state when we have memories they would be in harmonic resonance with that state of being we are in at the time. Had we been in a happy state of being the memories we would remember would be in resonance with that state of being. This holds likewise for that choice of memories we consciously choose as they put us into the corresponding state of mind associated with the memories.

I believe we could reverse this and have our natural state of being we slip into being happiness. In that case most of the negative things would be forgotten and the main memories would be all good things.


answered 30 Jul '12, 11:15

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

Dear Kakaboo, The stronger the emotion associated with what happened the harder it is to forget. Why? Emotions are usualy much stronger when things go wrong like in an accident. Regret, Guilt, Anger at self or others are extremely strong emotions and will keep coming up as they cause a strong chemical reaction in the body. All our cells have memory and anything that slightly rminds us of it will trigger the chemical response and we will remember and re-live it all over again.

Learning is fine but if it becomes too much and for too long it is detrimental to our health and help is needed to deal with this memory. Trying to forget about it wont help. Going for Post Traumatic healing is a good idea and if not you can try to change your emotions by changing your thoughts about the incident.

The reason plesent happenings dont play on a persons mind like the unplesent ones is that the emotion associated with the situation is not as strong and so the chemical reaction of the body and mind is not as strong.


answered 05 Aug '12, 15:23

Paulina%201's gravatar image

Paulina 1

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Asked: 25 Jul '12, 21:23

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Last updated: 05 Aug '12, 15:23

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