Monday, May 9, 2011

Attitude is like a Virus

Written by Ms. Berman
Attitude is like a virus.  Just as a virus cannot exist without hijacking a host cell and taking over its machinery, attitude cannot exist without entering a person’s mind and becoming a part of his or her thought processes.  Some viruses are innocuous and don’t have a significant impact on our immune system, just as some thoughts have little effect on our way of thinking.  In addition, some viruses remain dormant within the body for years before rapidly invading a multitude of host cells and increasing at an exponential rate.  These viruses, the ones left unchecked, are often the most serious, just as the negative messages cast into a person’s mind can crop up years later, creating an outburst of insecurity and self-doubt. 
All of us hear negative messages spoken on a daily basis.  The decision we have to make is how to respond to such messages.  Useful questions to ask are “What are the odds that there is validity to this information?” and “How does this information benefit me?”  It is critical to take the emotion out of the intellectual processing of such situations in order to properly assess the value of the many incoming messages that are flung upon us each day.  We, as humans with the ability to reason, get to choose which statements we are willing to process and integrate as a part of our stream of consciousness (or subconscious mind).  In addition, we choose which messages we will reinforce by either repeating such messages to our peers or ignoring them.   The relatively recent emergence of the internet and smartphones has made it easier for “attitude networking” to occur.  Thus, a simple statement, initially based upon opinion, can quickly start to appear as a fact as it is transmitted through a network of people in a short period of time.  As humans, it is easy to forgo control over our cognitive processing center, and react on an emotional level to such statements as they typically elicit such a response. 
The old clichés “thick-skinned” and “let that roll off your back” are applicable to the concept of attitudinal responses.  Those who tend to be less reactive to the attitude networking that typically occurs in any group environment, will usually end up with fewer negative messages cluttering their brain.  This requires filtering fact from fiction, but enhances autonomy and self-empowerment when it comes to decision-making down the road.  There are enough things in life that are beyond our control.  Attitude, however, is within our control and drives everything that we do in life.  In fact, self-esteem and attitude have been proven to be more essential than raw intelligence when evaluating whether an individual will achieve success, happiness, and contentment in life.  At the very least, if we listen with discretion and take control over what we are willing to internalize, then we can aim to develop more positive thought processes.  Over time, the mind will be freed up of the influx of negative messages, just as the aim for a healthy body is to be virus-free.


  1. I really like your point - we do have to stop passing along gossip, etc. But it's easier to say that than it is to do, at least with media messages.

    There are simply too many negatives messages, especially for people my age and gender, to ignore them all. When you're not surrounded by billboards and magazines and television it's easy to say that you'll respect your body and intelligence and other parts of you. And of course it'll make you happier. But when these negative messages are there, you find yourself thinking how much you'd like to be like that model or as funny as that actress. There's too much pressure.

  2. Attitude is definitley a main cause of any kind of situation. If you have a good attitude, it causes one to make more friends, be viewed in a nice way and be treated they way they want to be treated. Having a bad attitude leads to HATE. A big four letter word that tends to be misused. It causes disturbances and if you ever watch Judge Judy, you see that it causes people to lose respect and not get what they want.
    I guess the point is, don't be that one virus that ruins everything.

  3. I totally agree with this blog post! Attitude is exactly like a virus. Just like if you see someone yawn, you can't help but yawn also or like the saying 'laughing is contagious'. It's all about the different vibes you surround yourself with. If you hang around happy friends your mostly likely going to be in a better mood and obviously if you hang around negative people you going to tend to think more negative. It's important to have a positive attitude in everything you do not only for yourself but also for others. Being an older sister I have to watch out for my little brother. I may have to do something that I don't want to or I may have had a terrible day but I still try to keep a positive attitude for the sake of my younger brother. Even when you have a job and you're at work you can't have your personal life get in the way of your business you won't be able to function. Attitude is everything :) I also liked how you in corporated the biology behind it all in this post.

  4. Attitude is sometimes hard for someone to shake off. I know this girl, who always has attitude with her parents and her friends. I often found myself having an attitude as well when i was around her, in which case made me believe that attitude is contagious. See, it is hard sometimes to be nice to someone or talk calmly with someone who just keeps going on saying mean things or just being plane rude. But this blog just made me realize that just because someone is being rude and having a really bad attitude doesn't mean that i have to. I have the choice to ignore that person or just to stay quiet or reply nicely. Just because that person isn't so nice doesn't mean I have to be.

    - Roxana Lopez

  5. Bad atitude is something hard to control due to how the world is today. I think that with all the ways that we have available to pass information with ease. Spreading rumors now a days once started there is almost a guarantee that a majority of people will find out within an hour or less due to the different ways of communication that are available. What the worst thing about all of this is is that when the prison that started the rumor finds out that it was not true it is almost impossible to change what has begun. Thus giving someone a bad attitude that will be shared with all like a virus.

    Miguel Preciado