Listen, we all have things that we can complain about, feel sad about and make bigger than they are. But some people want to make their problems your problems. It doesn't make them bad people. I know...I was one of them.
- I wasn't never the alcoholic, but I lived with one
- My blessed Italian upbringing predisposed me to types of negativity
- I didn't know how about "like attracts like" so I had a ton of drama in my life...and I told everyone.
My friends back then were a mix of decent people (mostly my teacher friends and some family) and the others. I think my saving grace with my teacher friends I had was that I was then as I am now: basically a good person and I genuinely wanted a better life. With "the others" I shared the same thing...lots of drama.
I can tell you now, looking back, that hanging with the latter crew only made my life more challenging. I was (in Victorous Woman-speak) hanging out on the victim stepping stepping stone. On that one, challenges become a vicious cycle of bad choices. And, since like attracts like, I wasn't in any kind of position to move myself forward...and it showed in every part of my life.
This holiday season, make a pledge to avoid those people who need to drink to excess (and then they get loud and start babbling), and the ones who always point out the most negative aspects of everything (criticizing, complaining, etc), and the ones who can never seem to make the right choices and never seem to heed your suggestions for making it better.
It sounds harsh, I know. But if you want more happy, you have create with environment for more happy. Start with yourself:
focus on the positive. You don't have to be a Pollyanna, you just have to see the glass half full vs half empty
Hang out with people who are happy and whose goal is to be happy
If you can't completely avoid the negative ones, minimize your contact with them.
- Set a time limit for how long you will be with them
- Plan positively-focused topics in advance that you can talk about
- Tell them (don't ask) to stop the negativity: "I love you but if you can't change the subject to something happier, I'll have to leave."
Don't let others steal you joy this holiday season. And, BTW, don't you go stealing other people's joy!
More tips for Happier Holidays