I love to bitch. Maybe more than the next person. Nothing bonds two people together like a mutual hatred of Jet Star or New Zealand’s wet summer last year.
And I love sarcasm. Sure, it’s an easy way to make a joke, but it also breaks the ice and shows you don’t take yourself too seriously.
But there’s a line.
Because if it’s anything I hate (do you feel an ironic rant coming on?) it’s true, deep-seated, negativity. Those people who have nothing nice to say about anything and find fault with everything. You know who I’m talking about. The person who, when you say, “I’m headed to Japan for holiday!” they respond with, “Tokyo’s really expensive.” When you ask someone how they’re new dream job is they whine, “Well, today my boss said x, y and z and I don’t understand why I didn’t get this promotion and the guy sitting next to me table taps too loudly (Hi, Jesse).”
I’m not saying everyone should go around cooing, ‘Isn’t life wondrous!?’ when they’re having a crap day. Or pretending the world is a beautiful, sparking place when there are clearly some dark and twisted things happening. But… I’msorrypleasedon’thateme… dark, twisted things are always happening. We all go through dips and dives and in the words of one of my favorite quotes:
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
A few months ago I decided I was only going to surround myself with people who at least TRY to have a positive outlook. Who make me more positive. Whose first response to good news isn’t jealousy, but genuine happiness. Who can actually say ‘good’ when you ask how they are, even if their kids are driving them crazy again.
During my yoga teacher training, we learned a lesson from Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. He says to ask people, “What’s not wrong?” to help them focus on the good things.
I’m sorry if your job sucks. Get a new one. I’m sorry that your friend has stolen your boyfriend AGAIN. Don’t hang out with her anymore. Is it just me or are so many people completely incapable of doing anything about their lives?
Do you know what I hate almost as much as negativity? Passive aggression. You know, people who post mysterious lines like “Life is hard” on Facebook and expect all their friends to frantically give compliments and rub their virtual feet? Or people who write ambiguous blog posts about negative people and you secretly know some drama happened and their blog must be the only place they have to vent?
I swear, this post isn’t directed at one person, but I’m realizing the older I get that I only have a limited time on this earth to be happy and pursue my passions and I’ve decided I don’t want to waste that time with people who don’t help me grow, support or challenge me in a productive way.
We all have tendencies towards negativity, me especially! But there’s a difference (I think) between smartly critiquing something and picking at the people they love. When a friend tells you good news do you immediately interrogate or congratulate?
It’s time to be kinder, folks.