I have yet to meet or hear of a person with no problems.
Whether you’re brilliant or academically challenged, wealthy or counting your pennies to buy your next meal, gorgeous or possess a face that only radio could love, none of us came into this world with the guarantee that life would dish out what we want when we want and that it would be perfect.
Each of us has different ways of coping. It might help to mope a bit. Getting angry and shouting at the world works for some. A stiff drink of rum punch (my own personal experiment) has been known to do the trick. Chocolate, in its many forms, wards off doom and gloom. Confiding in a trusted friend may provide a temporary healing. Thing is, eventually, most of us make peace with our problems because we know that if we stay focussed on them, we will die from the toxicity!
That said, why, why do some people love talking about their problems so much? Ever notice how if you don’t react with the appropriate level of sympathy, the worse offenders switch gears and try to embellish their unfolding monologue with an even greater sense of despair and foreboding? And they’ll talk to anybody! This happens in waiting rooms, lines at the bank, in front of the freezing meat section at the grocery.
Random Debbie Downers are bad enough. Debbie Downers in one’s inner circle is another beast altogether. I know you know what I’m talking about. When you see their names come up on your phone you cringe. Visibly. You know that they’re never going to listen to your wise counsel and that the one-sided conversation will make you want to smash your phone against the wall. They seem to thrive on the telling and retelling of their woes. The drama never ends with them; it merely escalates till it goes BOOM and the cycle starts all over again. Like a really bad soap opera…are there any good soap operas?? Do soap operas still exist?? I digress…
Hey, I have my own issues. I’m not saying that I’m not here for you, a shoulder to cry on (occasionally) when life comes at you hard, but man, you can’t keep bringing me down moaning about allllll these problems you got. I prefer to wake up every day determined to put a smile on my face and appreciate my life. I don’t need you dragging me into the cesspool of your negativity and inertia.
So when I say “STOP! I don’t want to hear any more unless you plan to actually DO something about [insert problem here]” know that I say it in love (or annoyance and disgust, but mostly love).
How do you cope with the Debbie Downers in your life?