Why are bad things always easier to remember than good?
I actually thought of this question while riding home from dance tonight. We have this tape-and-wire (technical, I know) thing that lets you play your iPod through the car speakers. Well, the wire is apparently getting old. Half the time the music doesn't come out of the speakers on the right side of the car, and when it does, it breaks up. Static and funny noises are an added bonus. To get your music to play at all you have to contort the wire into uncomfortable positions and HOLD IT THERE.
And then it sometimes still won't play -_-
Sorry. Tangent. But that really does have something to do with the fact that BAD is easier to remember than GOOD.
How? Well, now I can hardly remember what it was like to be able to just LISTEN to my iPod in the car. No wire-jiggling. No iPod-throwing. No wondering if that's really part of the song. All I know is that now, it SUCKS.
We do that a lot, you know, with lots of different things.
When you're starving in the desert, it's hard to remember feeling full and refreshed. But once you're out of the desert, you sure as heck remember how hellish it was to be there.
When you have a broken heart, you swear that it wasn't worth all the good times you had. And then later when you're feeling better, you still swear that getting close to people is a bad idea.
When you're out of shape, you can't remember how good it felt to be able to run a mile flat out. But then when you finally get back into shape, you remember clearly how horrid it felt to sit on the couch all day.
Sometimes the healthy remembrance of the bad is a good thing. It keeps us from loosing sight of where we've come from, and why we stopped/starting doing things differently. But then sometimes it just makes us pessimistic.
The point of this post isn't to say that remembering bad more clearly is better or worse, it's just to point it out. And to ask why.
Why do you think people remember bad things better than good things? Or do you ever agree that we do?