Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hop on the pity partywagon

Negative Nelly.

Everyone knows someone like her. Sometimes it's easy to become just like her.

She's is the type of person who acts as if a cloud of doom follows her every move.

No act of kindness is ever kind enough.

No act of discipline is ever harsh enough.

She complains about being bored when she has no work to do, and when she has something to do, she complains that she's overburdened or the task at hand is too menial.

Nothing will ever satisfy Negative Nelly, and she will take every opportunity to rain on your happiness parade because, deep down, she wants others to share in her misery.

It's easy to get caught up in her negativity when she really gets going.

So how do you avoid jumping on the pity partywagon? There are two things you can do.

First, be an advocate for your own happiness. That means stop being afraid to tell someone when they are bringing you down.

Too often we are so afraid of hurting other people's feelings, injuring other people's pride and trying not to offend others that our frustrations get misdirected.

How many times has someone made you mad during the day, but you held your feelings in until you could go home and unload your troubles on your spouse and kids? I have. It creates a toxic home environment, and that's a horrible example to set if you have children.

It doesn't matter if it's a co-worker, a family member or a friend, be honest with them and tell them how you feel. Yes, you risk offending them. But I've discovered being tactfully direct with my feelings gives me more control over my environment, and my spirit is more settled because I have confronted the issue/person head-on. I also believe approaching such an issue with directness has helped strengthen many of the relationships in my life. People know what I expect. They they know what to expect from me.

Second, try to be patient with Negative Nelly. By opening a dialogue with the person who is bringing negativity into your life, you might discover he or she has experienced or is experiencing a hardship that has shaped their current outlook. Maybe he or she doesn't even realize the damage their negativity is creating.

Many times when people become aware, they begin to care.

These suggestions probably won't work 100 percent of the time. They should also be carried out with a great degree of tact and patience.

Try them and see if they work.

In the meantime, tell me about your pet peeves. What do people do that turn your smile upside-down? Tweet at me, email me or tell me in the comments below.

On Monday: The food and feel good connection.

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