My brain remembers bad stuffs better... How bout you guys?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by curioucity, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. curioucity Unbelievable and odd Registered Senior Member


    There's something about my brain which sometimes bugs me: it seems to be better at remembering things that I don't like and/or would rather forget compared to things that I do want to or must remember. What I mean is not that I keep remembering/seeing those bad stuffs all the time, but those bad stuffs resurface very easily upon getting minor triggers.

    For example, sometimes looking at a bank note may instantly remind me of a bad experience where I was conned (and how I once really really wished I'd have smothered that bastard to death), and I've really wanted to just put that behind because it made me sick thinking about retribution all the time. The ones that I want to remember, on the other hand, slips really easily out of my mind and often takes a lot of effort and luck to retrieve back, for example, when I forgot a name of a dish or when I ate it when I was dining out.

    Sometimes I feel really upset about it, but at other times, I do think of a second opinion: Maybe by being better at remembering bad stuffs, the brain is helping to ensure better survival, in that by remembering them, we know better to avoid them. Sounds pretty farfetched, doesn't it? After all, that sounds as if every single thing in the world can be so traumatic you can't afford to forget the because they can get back to you.

    What's your opinion on this guys?

    PS: Been a while since the last time I paid a visit here
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  3. LadyMidnight Catherine J. Registered Senior Member

    Your idea about the brain ensuring its survival by remembering more bad events doesn't sound too farfetched, but I think it depends on the person. I'm the complete opposite. I tend to remember my good experiences much more than the bad. I think that's part of why I'm generally a very happy person, but at the same time, I've noticed a tendency for getting pulled back into relationships that are unhealthy/potentially abusive... because I always remember the "nice" things. In that regard, maybe your memory is better for survival.

    If you're having trouble remembering things, you should carry a little notepad and pen in your pocket. Write down anything you want to remember. I do this because I tend to forget appointments and other important things if I don't. But maybe you can use your notepad to write down happy moments... as hippy as it sounds lol.
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  5. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

    Maybe you just have a hard time letting go of the bad things that have happened to you.
    I can rememberterrible things plain as day like they happened yesterday. I think because I have a hard time letting things go. It takes me a long time to forgive and forget.
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  7. curioucity Unbelievable and odd Registered Senior Member

    Speaking of this matter depending on the person, well, I can't say I disagree, but since I haven't heard opinions from enough mass, I guess I can't say for certain. But just FYI, I'm generally a pessimistic person, in case that matters.

    As for writing down happy moment in notepad.... well, that's what my camera is for

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    I can relate to what you said about having problem letting go. I did say in my post about a bastard I wanted to punish (and I've also thought up all the nasty things I would love to do on him), and although I've told myself over and over "Just get over it already...", each time that memory resurfaces, it takes long to re-bury, not to mention it brings with it all the 'imaginative' punishments I've thought up, and adding a few to them to boot (this is probably what tied me to the problem; It's a source for my 'creative' thoughts)

    If that's the case, I think I seriously need to pick up some hobby that is effective for letting out the steam

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    Just to let you know, although I do have some hobbies now, they can get stagnant pretty quickly everytime, and you know the popular saying "An idle hand is a devil's playground" (or is it an idle mind? Who cares

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    PS: Just a heads up to the Admins/Moderators, I think this thread may drift away from being a Bio Science and more into Psychology, so I think if you see fit, you can move this to the Human Science subforum now or wait til I give you a holler.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  8. D.W. Dr.Weirdo Registered Senior Member

    I hate remembering the crap I have said and done, I'm a very angry person, terrible things swell up I my head and all convert into a punch. Well okay not THAT angry but just depress and emotionally upset sometimes cause I have to deal with nimrods who never can never seemed to get the picture and always want to give in there unnecessary two cents to everything in the conversation.

    If your wondering where I'm going with this, I feel for Curiocity, I To have alot of bad things get in to your head quickly before you can say "Cat in the hat". Sigh, I'm sorry if I'm not contributing anything to this topic. I'm not thinking well right now. I need a drink.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2009
  9. IMPoster Registered Member

    Good vs. Bad

    I think this may lead back to the "nurture vs nature" discussion, but I think if we were more frequently positively reinforced as a child we tend to remember good things more often, and vise versa. Our brains tend to link all current experiences to past ones. When we are first learning (we don't realise it, but anytime we learn anything at all it is for our survival) and know nothing our parents will keep us from harm with positive or negative reinforcement. If your brain keeps remembering the bad, possibly you had parents that were more of the negative type. Now you are an adult in charge of educating yourself and maintaining your own survival. Perhaps you remember the bad as reinforcement against repeating past mistakes or to protect yourself against possible recurring outcomes, resulting in more frequent WIN experiences.

    To remember more positivity, you need to trick your brain back into child-like program-ability. Children are constantly experiencing new things, and constantly attaching new meaning to them. Set a goal of (#) however many new things you want to try in a day. Then push that number up by 1.

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    It can be as simple as trying a new flavor of gum. If it is positive from the start, make a point of reacting positively to it in at least 3 ways. (3's seem to be a magic number when trying to program the brain. It's why jokes are much funnier in 3's.) If it turns out to be a flop allow your first thought to pass through your head without becoming emotionally attached to the thought ((...that bourbon flavored gum tastes...(don't say something personal such as gross, say a fact)...tastes like bourbon, that's about it...(and move on...))(And yes, say this out loud to yourself.) Now, don't ever allow any negative experience to ruin even a part of your day (things tend to snowball with us pessimists). Go do something else that is new to you that you think you would definitely enjoy instead such as...painting your toenails to look like little yellow ducks...

    So, when something is negative, stick to its' actual non-biased facts. When you do enjoy something, make a point of saying 3 positive statements about it.

    Like anything else, being a positive thinker is WORK until it becomes your default mode of interpreting your experiences. But trust me, you can reprogram your brain. Your TV does it for free with commercials and 'programs'. If you would rather be the one in control of the programming, there are many, many excellent books (and YOUTUBE videos) on the topic.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I think most people are just the opposite and tend to recall happy memories more readily than bad ones. It's one of those little tricks our brains do that helps us feel happier.

    If this is bothering you (and how can it not?) I would suggest you try the Emotional Freedom Technique. It's a simple self-performed ritual whose purpose is to help you find the thoughts that are at the root of your problems, focus on them, analyze them, and decide what you want to do and can do about them.

    It's free (although you can hire a practitioner who will do phone consultations if you want), it's fast (you don't have to see a therapist for years before he tells you your problem is really difficult), it's easy (you can do it sitting in a chair or while walking) and there's no down side (maybe it won't work but you'll know almost immediately and it sure won't do any harm).

    Gary Craig, who founded EFT, has to communicate on the average American's wavelength in order to succeed, so the website has some trappings of woo-woo and endorsements by some people you may not take seriously. He does public demonstrations that are too showy and almost evoke faith healing. But that's what it takes to make it in this country. In other countries like Australia it's presented a little more respectably. EFT itself is totally unremarkable, using informal chanting and acupressure points just to help you set yourself up and get focused--to help you get your own attention, as it were--and then you do the work yourself.

    Your problem seems like the kind of thing that EFT might work very well on.
  11. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    As you age your memory starts to fade about many things. Having such vivid memories young only means you are only wanting to be careful not to make the same mistakes again, which is a good thing but does take allot of thought to do so. Nothing to do about it except try not making any more bad things happen if possible or at least make small mistakes not big ones.
  12. mike47 Banned Banned

    I really think I remember good and bad things in the same way .
    As a small boy my sister died and I can remember that as if it happened today . Also I remember when I went to school and I hated it . I still do not understand why I had such a nasty resentment to school in my early years .
    I remember happy days such as weddings and others . My problem though is my dreams are nearly always on the bad side of things . So when I wake up in the morning I just try to forget them and not give them any importance as I believe they have nothing to do with my future .

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