I stick to this theory that we all have a limited amount of happiness that we have to protect.
Mainly from other people’s negativity.
On the contrary- if we hang out with happy people,our happiness levels will grow.
I call negative people, happiness dementors (Harry Potter slang, roll with it)… they drain you of your happiness. And happiness is difficult to regenerate- so guard that shit! Stay away from happiness dementors.
And if you are one? Recognize it!! Change.
I choose to be a fairly happy person. On the optimism pessimism scale, I swing more toward optimism. I enjoy lolz, but occasionally complain (who doesn’t?) Especially when I’m feeling hangry. (<—For real, my whole demeanor changes when I’m hungry.) But generally… I try to be happy.
Here’s the thing about happiness dementors…
I used to have a friend that would complain about a laundry list of trivial things. The reason I would hang out with her was because I was new to the area and didn’t know many people. Now… she was the type of girl that would be consumed with envy if something good happened to a friend’s career. Or relationship. Or just life in general.
She was a happiness dementor and enjoyed feeling like top dog. She did that by putting other people down.
Conversation topics included:
“My manager is a jerk”
“This girl I know, what a B… plus she’s ugly and stupid.” <—actual words
“I don’t know why I can’t find a man… this guy is too passive” <—always something wrong with the guy, never her.
At first it was fun. Let’s admit, complaining is always fun at first. Especially if you both agree on what they’re complaining about. But it would never end. Every time we would hang out, the conversations would be SO negative.
When I offered solutions to her problems, she would acknowledge them, but never implement them. Or any solution for that matter. She just… kept complaining.
Sometimes I felt like she just kept me around because I brought positivity into her life, but HOLY SHIT was it draining. I found myself becoming more and more negative. Happiness dementors… stay away from them. Ain’t nobody got time for those.
Also- understand that you can’t force happiness upon someone.
The thing about other people’s problems and negativity -and we MUST remember this- is that it’s NOT your problem. It’s not.
Us positive people (with stars in our eyes) feel obligated to help others – even if people are not receptive to it. You can’t force someone to be happy. And if you try to, you may end up sacrificing your own happiness.
When you yourself starts to complain… remind yourself: “It’s not that big of deal”
I remember one day after a long day of work, I started complaining to a friend about how I had to do so many repairs on my car and how expensive it was going to be. Basically complaining just to complain. (It’s boring me to even write about such trivial problems.)
And I’ll always remember what my friend said:
“It’s really not that big of a deal. You’ll figure it out. Stop complaining. It looks bad on you.”
And any time I tried complaining, she wouldn’t even entertain it. At first it was annoying but later I realized she was just being a good friend. She knew complaining drained my happiness levels… not just hers having to listen to it.
When you’ve had a long day at work – you know what’s the last thing you want to do? Listen to other people’s problems. There’s a time and place people. And seriously: complaining to a friend about my problems when she potentially had bigger problems… really? I needed a swift kick in the butt to realize no one wants to hang out with a negative Nancy.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t complain. (We all need to let a little steam off sometimes.) I’m saying we should complain in a more productive way. Complaining while seeking an actual solution. With positivity attached to our complaints, we can develop solutions to our problems rather than wallow in them. I don’t know about you, but I want to help a person who is trying to better themselves, not a person who just wants to complain. And that latter type is prevalent, y’all.
When I recently asked a co-worker what his secret to marriage was. (He’s been married 30 years.) His response was: If you’re happy, marry a happy person. If you marry an unhappy person (a happiness dementor), that person may see you as a novelty at FIRST… a shiny thing in their mundane life. <— Mundane due to all the negativity. It’s only a matter of time before the novelty wears off and they see you as another part of their (still mundane) life. Lol… it’s true.
I believe the same is true with friends. So I removed the negative people in my life, the happiness dementors… and replaced them with people who increased my happiness. It’s as simple as that. And soon, conversations I once used to engage in that focused on setbacks and roadblocks transformed into conversations about goals and achievements and other cool-ass things in life.
Everyone’s going to complain…. but be productive about it. That’s basically the moral here.
Thoughts? Whose NYE resolutions are going to include weeding out the happiness dementors?
Senior Writer || Snob in Chief at The Snobby Foodie || ENTJ || Once went to four coffee shops in one day to find the best one…