“If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” ~Mary Engelbreit
I have been trying very hard recently. Trying to be positive, trying to make my energy shine bright enough to dispel the dark clouds hanging around my friend and even though I suffered a massive loss recently, it did not put me down, it did not do anything to dampen my love of life and love of people. But I can’t seem to pass this attitude on to other people and bring them out of their own negative mindset.
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~Carl Jung
So I started looking closer at her. What was bothering me? What affected me on her negative attitude? Was she really doing that bad or was my mind playing tricks on me?
The mind is constantly looking for trouble and once you focus on the negative traits of one person, it will be quite challenging to see their positive traits, but that doesn’t mean the positive traits don’t exist.
So I found out that was bothering me really bad was the perceived inaction. I thought she wasn’t doing anything to better the cause of her unhappiness. But she was! She was fighting a bigger demon than the one at the end of Final Fantasy X! Family is usually the root of everything we do and she was fighting hers. OK, so that wasn’t the entire reason I was affected.
It bothered me that she could not face life with a smile on her face and a Fuck You attitude to go with it. Nothing in life is permanent and all these troubles will eventually go away so why get yourself worked up in them and let them consume you?
He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.” ~Samuel Johnson
So I have tried to stay out of it. If I make her problem my problem too it’s not gonna help her and it’s definitely not gonna help me. So I tried to think of solutions and I realized that my approach to problems is pretty direct. Face them head on and respond with violent behaviour if civil sense does not work (IE break some windows with a baseball bat like they did in Shameless! And Beyonce seems to have hit the spot with Lemonade)
So my plan of action took shape and I decided to do some of the things I was really passionate about and by doing them, to immediately raise the positive energy level. So I planned a lovely trip to London to do some shopping, visit the London Eye, go Ice Skating, go to the Tate museum of Modern Art and then come home.
Well, let’s say it went bad. The day was a miserable cloud-covered day and it rained most of the time. Drizzled, rain, cloudy sky. And I saw she was quiet. She stayed quiet for most of the trip and then my hyper-ness came out.
And the more hyper I got (Let’s do this! Let’s see this! Come here to see and experience!), the more introvert she became and her negative mindset came out (Can’t do this! I’m afraid to do this! I don’t like this!) She stayed in the middle of the capsule that goes around (moved just a bit and never really to the edges), she hugged the railing in the ice skating park and did not let it go not even to go around people and … well, she went all quiet, going from stall to stall in Tate.
I knew I fucked up by making a day out I would enjoy (And I did! I did!) and not thinking too hard whether she would like it too. So on the way back, I started enumerating other possibilities for days out and she seemed excited about a Harry Potter world studio tour and the theatre to see The Lion King.
But now, I’m not sure I want to see those things with her. Because I more than likely be excited again and she will sulk in a corner for whatever reason.
Happy people know life can be hard and tend to bounce through hard times with an attitude of curiosity versus victim-hood. They take responsibility for how they got themselves into a mess, and focus on getting themselves out of it as soon as possible.
Perseverance towards problem-solving versus complaining over circumstances is a symptom of a happy person. Unhappy people see themselves as victims of life and stay stuck in the “look what happened to me” attitude versus finding a way through and out the other side.
So, I made a small list of things YOU can do in order to deal with someone unhappy:
- Do not mention their problems unless they mention them first (out of sight, out of mind)
- Do not ask them “Why the long face?” You know why.
- Do not ask them “Why are you sad?” You know why.
- Try a joke or two and see if you have a smile appearing (Even an “Oh my God, was that even a joke” smile.)
- Hug them a little. Hugging helps release happiness hormones – Oxytocin (I tried it too but nearly died 🙂 )
- Make sure you tell them they are loved and you are there for them if they need to unload
- Make them exercise (even unwillingly). Exercising releases another feel-good hormone (Endorphine and dopamine)
- Make them do something new. I tried and failed a little but you might have a better idea what they would love to experience for the first time.