Misery loves company, by guest blogger Lorie Sheffer

life's roadblocks
life's roadblocks and detours (photo: Lorie Sheffer, York, PA)

I can’t stand this weather. The grass is growing too fast and the weeds are out of control. I’d hire somebody to come and take care of the yard, but you just can’t get anyone to do a decent job these days, and they charge way too much anyway. I don’t go outside because my stupid neighbor is always out there grilling stuff, and between the smoke blowing onto my patio and the disgusting smell of whatever it is he’s grilling, it makes me sick to my stomach. I’d come in and watch TV, but there’s nothing on that’s worth watching.

How much of that kind of negativity can you listen to before you want to run screaming from whoever is ranting? It’s draining to be around negative people, and yet we all know at least one. I’m not talking about the occasional foul mood that can strike even the most cheerful among us, I’m talking about those people who can never seem to find much to be happy about or grateful for; the energy sponges in our lives.

The number one thing to remember is, the minute we start to complain about them, we have become one of them. Tempting as it may be for us to try to change them, it ain’t gonna happen. Allowing ourselves to be sucked into the drama will only fan the flames. We need to realize that we can’t “fix” people, especially those who do not think they are broken. The best way to react to these Debbie Downers is not to react at all. Most importantly we need to realize that anything rude or insensitive they may say to us or about us is not a reflection of us, but a reflection of their own inner misery. We can’t control the thoughts or the behavior of others; we can only control how we respond to them.

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.