Law And Peace: Negativity Bias And How It Can Affect Your Separation


Written by Family Law Partner Joelene Seaton


Welcome to a new series by MBA Lawyers. Family Law Partner Joelene Seaton is an expert in her field of law and offers our clients a holistic approach to their legal matters. In this series, Joelene will provide a fresh take on family law issues.


In this first instalment, Joelene discusses negativity bias and how it can affect your separation from your spouse.


All too often my family law clients tell me what a bad person their ex-spouse is. How they were a lazy homemaker or a lousy breadwinner. Sometimes even a poor parent or a terrible lover. I often hear about all the negative traits and usually none of the positives. 


It’s as though all memory of the past love – which may have at one point in time been strong enough for the couple to decide to bring another human being into the world – has been completely erased. 


People often ‘velcro’ the negative and ‘teflon’ the positive. When it comes to perceiving their former relationship, many people cultivate a ‘negative bias’.


As human beings, we have an ingrained negativity bias. Negative emotions stop us from thinking and behaving rationally and seeing situations in their true perspective. When this occurs, we tend to see only what we want to see and remember only what we want to remember.


What might happen though if one dispenses with negativity and instead chooses positivity? Positivity is defined as the quality of having a positive attitude.


Law And Peace: Negativity Bias And How It Can Affect Your Separation


The benefit of positive thoughts on the mind and body are scientifically proven. A positive attitude can improve your immune system and may help you live longer. Positive thoughts help produce emotions such as joy, amusement, happiness, serenity, gratitude and inspiration – who wouldn’t want that?


Instead of thinking what a terrible parent your ex-spouse is, try remembering how excited you both were at the time your children were born. Different parenting styles aren’t necessarily detrimental to a child but can actually be beneficial. 


Replace regrets of having wasted time in a failed relationship with gratitude for the opportunity to learn from the experience and the promise of a new beginning.


Law And Peace: Negativity Bias And How It Can Affect Your Separation


Choose your friends wisely. Negativity and positivity have been shown to be contagious. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up rather than dwell on the unhappy moments that are only fragments of the whole.


Going through a separation? Let MBA Lawyers Family Law team help you through this time with the best legal representation on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. 


Please call us today on 07 5539 9688 or leave an enquiry.