Does Negative Nellie Really Exist?

Negative Nellie

Negative Nellie Exists?

Of course she does. We all have a Negative Nellie inside us. She has been there since your first stomping tantrum as a toddler. She would show up at random times like the time you were waiting to see Santa and you were suppose to wait in line but Negative Nellie showed up and you were  on a tangent to no good and never did get to see Santa that day.

It was as if something took hold of you and before you knew it you were being escorted to the car and worse than that you now were in jeopardy of Santa seeing that and being labeled naughty. Oh that Negative Nellie she surely had it out for you that day.

So who is she? 


Who is this person and where do they live? Well  Negative Nellie AKA  Ned (if you are a boy) is that sometimes angry little girl or boy inside us all, you have stared directly at her, right in her face at some point in your life. 

Where is she?

She is you, she is me, she is in each of us waiting for a weakness to let her out and let her rein down negative thoughts that we all have. I choose to use the female version as it directly relates to me, but the masculine version Negative Ned lives on as well.

What happens when she shows up?

You know when she has been around too long because you find yourself in an abyss of negativity. It could have just started innocently enough maybe you heard her somewhere in your head saying something like, “You not wearing that are you?”.

As you check yourself in the mirror your hear, “What happened to that diet you started? Why can’t you stay on a diet? You quit again, your always quitting stuff you start.” She goes on to say, “That is why you’re not happy,” and before you know it she is out of the web ridden memories you had left her in and right where she wants to be.


That is what she sounds like and before long she has manifested you right into a swirling negative revolving door where you feel lost and weak to even begin to try and put her back in her place. It can happen to any one of us, we are all just one bad decision away from catastrophe.


So where did Negative Nellie originate?  Come to find out she has been here since the 1920’s causing havoc I researched numerous explanations from a number of sources.

My top favorite explanation I found  was on by Yvette Costa (She even spells it the same way) to  an answer I found on from  Pedro Chopite that stated “Old Nell” was a playful nickname for a old, worn down horses. A high strung horse became a “Nervous Nellie.” The name started to be applied to fearful or nervous people: “You’re acting like a nervous Nellie!” and later acquired the connotation of cowardly. ” 

He says this goes back quite a ways, “In the early 1920s Sen. Frank Kellog received the nickname “Nervous Nellie” for being the only Republican Senator to support the ratification of the Treaty of Versailles.”

Nervous Nellies?

Then he goes on to say, “In 1966 President Johnson spoke of “Nervous Nellies” to refer to critics of his Vietnam policy. Nervous Nellie acquired the connotation of “naysayer” and gave rise to similar terms like Negative Nellie, Naysayer Nellie, Negative Ned and Negative Nancy.”

Negative Nancy?

So, “Negative Nellie, Naysayer Nellie, Negative Ned and Negative Nancy,” all existed but at that time it was  Nancy who held top honors. 

 Now from the blog of Jason L Pines he wrote “The Origins of Negative Nancy”, which I found quite spot on in what I thought about it and how it could happen but I digressed.

So in a little of everything I learned and want to share to really what I already knew which Negative Nelly, Nellie, and Nancy they all exist within us. We can call them the Cybil sisters, call them whatever you want.

We can call them the Cybil sisters, call them whatever you want.

Just beware there in there, I mean they are in us all. So lets dive in just a little to how just one developed because there is a path to this. So we all have one within us we were born with her. 

Yvette Costa says this,Human biology put it there for a reason. But that reason is not to help achieve our goals. The voice exists to keep us secure, alive, and out of trouble. It exists to create habits that can be anticipated, and are therefore safe.” so that means it is not your fault well unless you feed it.

So how did it happen?


Don’t Be A Negative Nellie

So how did it happen? Innocently enough it did happen much of this text taken from a post of Jason L Pines.

Her name was Nancy Errat Galt  and when she was born she was born with a genetic predisposition for a high amount of happiness. As an infant, she was always happy and as she grew her happiness continued. 

Everyone liked her, who doesn’t like to be around someone that is happy?

Everyone liked her, who doesn’t like to be around someone that is happy? She began to struggle with keeping abreast of everyday conversation. Most daily conversation had a tone of negativity that puzzled her, but she so wanted to fit in. 

With the dedication of a scholar she began adding a negative tone to her daily conversations and was very effective. Slowly but surely she began to see the worst in everyday situations and all though this was still a chore for her she found people began to agree with her.

The feeling of accomplishment was new and gave her more reasons to continue.

To err is human but to practice is to achieve and that she did.

To err is human but to practice is to achieve and that she did. Nancy has conquered her predisposition for a high amount of happiness. Nancy does not like summer. On her birthday, Nancy takes sleep-inducing medicines to avoid the fuss. Nancy hates having the lights on. Nancy is always being interrupted. Professionally, Nancy is a divorce lawyer. Nancy is always late. Nancy dislikes everything. Nancy is negative.

So Nancy became Negative Nancy but she did work at it. So it is important you keep check on the Cybil sisters that lives within us all. 

That Negative Nellie is your inner critic and sometimes she is not very nice. In fact sometimes our inner critic can talk you right out of your dreams because Negative Nellie wants safety and sometimes that can be at the expense of taking action. 

There is a subtle safety in silence and doing nothing.

There is a subtle safety in silence and doing nothing. What do you get? Just that, one big nothing, and who has time for that? Not me, not you, and just missing out on 1 actionable decision can be the difference in an early windfall in regards to your dreams to taking the long road, you will still get there (maybe) but the journey is longer with more obstacles.

Smile Everyday

So what to do when Negative Nellie  is unleashed? See her for who she is and what I like to do is put a face on her. It is much easier to tell her to relax and not get all Debbie Downer on you when you see her face to face.

debbie downer

It is okay she is out you just need to realize she feels a little threatened in some ways, do not spend a lot of time figuring it out.

You can stop listening to her, she is not the boss of you.

You can stop listening to her, she is not the boss of you. Negative Nellie will always have a lot to say and some of it will be true. The thing is when your seeking change and progress, there will be things you don’t know how to do or that you aren’t very good at.

That’s a part of life and so if you want to be better practice when you do that you will start feeling better about things that may have made you feel awkward before. It’s normal to feel awkward when walking down a new path never traveled, but if you don’t go you will never know.

So if you feel like sharing any of your Negative Nellie moments, I would love to hear about them. Leave a comment. 

I hope you enjoyed this post on Negative Nellie and the Cybil sisters and although this site is dedicated to your getting your happy back, within us all negativity exists. It is to what extent you allow it to affect you and the action you take when she appears.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I thank you all for being here now go out there and make good choices, do good things and be the change you want to see. It has to start somewhere.

Talk to you soon,

Happy Girl

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