Thursday, August 30, 2012

Complainers Kill Neurons! How to save yourself from this menace.

"That pain you feel listening to complainers? It's real enough to peel away neurons from your brain and render it pretty much useless, reports Inc."

[That pain you feel reading ridiculous made-up articles about the brain? It's real enough to peel away neurons from your brain and render it pretty much useless, reports The Neurocritic.]

That's the worst piece of fiction I've read about the brain in quite some time. So I thought I'd complain about it. Read at your own risk!

Complainers Damage Neurons in the Brain

Entrepreneur Trevor Blake offers tips to save yourself

By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2012 4:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – That pain you feel listening to complainers? It's real enough to peel away neurons from your brain and render it pretty much useless, reports Inc. "The brain works more like a muscle than we thought," says Trevor Blake, an entrepreneur who wrote Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life. "So if you're pinned in a corner for too long listening to someone being negative, you're more likely to behave that way as well."

The Neurocomplainer

Where to begin? With the distortion of scientific results beyond recognition in order to sell books? The use of such hyperbolic language? Or perhaps reliance on a business magazine as a primary source for neuroscience news. Oh but it gets worse...

But he offers tips for coping:

  • Get Away. Complainers are like chain-smokers who emit dangerous second-hand smoke, so simply move away from them.
  • Ask for a Fix. If you're cornered, suggest that the complainer find a solution. But most will just walk off because they "don't want a solution; they just want you to join in the indignity of the whole thing," says Blake.
  • Protect Yourself. When they just won't stop, delve into your bag of mental self-defense tricks. Imagining a protective, giant bell jar or invisibility cloak might work—or, like Blake, you could see yourself on a far-away island. "I could smile at them and nod in all the right places and meanwhile take myself for a walk on my private beach."
[Save me from Mr. Blake!]

Negative people are toxic, so let's abandon them. It doesn't matter if they're depressed about the foreclosure of their home or upset about being downsized due to corporate malfeasance or venting after being the target of yet another racist / sexist / homophobic insult or angry that their insurance company won't cover that critical medical procedure after all. Instead, ask them to fix the structural inequalities in society and then just move away from them.

[How to protect yourself from my complaining sarcastic blog posts: "Imagining a protective, giant bell jar or invisibility cloak might work."]

Surely the original Inc. article can't be that absurd! I'll let you be the judge...
Listening to Complainers Is Bad for Your Brain

. . .

Even worse, being exposed to too much complaining can actually make you dumb. Research shows that exposure to 30 minutes or more of negativity--including viewing such material on TV--actually peels away neurons in the brain's hippocampus.1 "That's the part of your brain you need for problem solving," he says. "Basically, it turns your brain to mush."
[30 seconds of exposure to Mr. Blake's book will basically turn your brain to mush.]

Speaking of Three Simple Steps (which -- in an amazing coincidence -- was published on August 23, 2012), there's something wrong with this picture...

While this item is available from other marketplace sellers on this page, it is not currently offered by because customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it's described here.

Newser link via @TheNeuroScience.


1 The hippocampus is critical for memory, not problem solving.

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At August 30, 2012 2:18 AM, Blogger Neuroskeptic said...

Yeah I hate negative complainers, like Trevor "I'd Like To Make A Complaint: You're Damaging My Brain" Blake.

At August 30, 2012 6:26 AM, Blogger TheCellularScale said...

Wow. They really have their metaphors mixed here. I mean is the brain shedding neurons like onion skin or is it mushy like apple sauce?

At August 30, 2012 12:05 PM, Blogger Ron T said...

I agree that the assertions of Trevor Blake have all telltale signs of commercialized BS. It seems he is referring to the work of Robert Sapolsky. Do you know the article he is basing his views on?

At September 04, 2012 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the brain dead feeling I experienced browsing parts of that stupid book "Incognito"

At September 23, 2012 10:59 AM, Blogger edgar! said...

Hey cool I made that sticker!

At December 10, 2012 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people complain because they have horrible lives and they are seeking support. Some people are alone do not judge.

At December 20, 2012 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FAKE bullshit. This "entrepeneur" is far from being a neurologist or scientist. He in fact has no idea how his own brain works due to the fact that he just is not actually educated on the human brain at all... this joe shmoe is just trying to promote/sell his worthless book. (My father has been a Neurologist/Scientist for 26 years and says that this man is preying on peoples weakness to try and sell his book. True SCUM of the earth.

At September 11, 2013 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go away complainer you are damaging my brain!


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