We’re taking a few Wellness Wednesdays to focus on negativity showing up in our lives in the form of Social Tornadoes: powerful negative energy that pulls people into unhealthy and damaging communication.

We can use language from the weather channel regarding tornadoes in nature to understand social tornadoes.

Tornado Watch means that conditions are right for a tornado to form. These can occur during times of change or stress, when two or more people are Below the Line or not getting what they want or think they deserve, during a national election, or even when a favorite team loses a game.

Tornado Warnings occur once a tornado has been spotted. Signs a social tornado has formed include two or more people complaining, blaming, judging, gossiping, and/or dishonoring the absent (talking negatively about someone who is not present).

Tornado warnings indicate that something of value is about to be damaged or destroyed. In social tornadoes, this usually means safety and trust. Consequently, human development, potential, and productivity can all suffer from this phenomenon.

Touchdowns occur when we join in the negative communication. We are now contributing negative energy and adding fuel to the fire by complaining, blaming, or dishonoring the absent.

Some people not only participate in tornadoes, they start tornadoes. Willow identifies a time in her life when she was a tornado starter. If she had some good gossip or spawned a negative conversation that was supported by others, she felt powerful and popular. After realizing that she was leading others into a Bottom 80 experience and additionally ruining her own day, she made a conscience choice not to be ‘popular’ in that way. By being more positive in her interactions with others, she attracted more positive people and experiences into her life.


  1. Tornado Watch: What conditions have you experienced that are likely to spawn a tornado?
  2. Tornado Warning: What specific signs of negative communication do you spot in tornadoes you experience?
  3. Tornado Touchdown: Why do you contribute to a tornado or what is it that draws you in to participating in a tornado?

Here’s hoping you have a tornado-free week. Tip: You can increase that possibility by intentionally monitoring your use of TV and social media.

From our Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…who have come to enjoy sunnier days.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training