The world can be a harsh at times. It doesn’t help that most of the news stories you are bombarded with focus on the tragedies that befall others. If not the victims then it’s their loved ones. But every once in a while a story will run that brings a smile to your face or a happy, and much welcomed, tear to your eye. These are the stories you want to tell your spouse, partner, or friends about. These are the stories that tell you that everything might be okay. That it’s not all doom and gloom out there. There can be miracles.
But what happens when you try to share a bit of good news, or something you’re happy about, and you are greeted with a wall of derision or subtle sarcasm? You shut down. That feeling is gone.
I had a friend who was like this. He was much like one of those newscasts we run across at s o’clock every night. Nothing positive ever came out of his mouth. He was also a contrarian. If I held a position he held the opposite position. Even when it was painfully obvious that he didn’t really understand the position he held. It was his position because it wasn’t my position. A God forbid I try to tell him a bit of good news for, no sooner were the words out of my mouth, than he’d shoot it down. If he couldn’t shoot it down he would find something in it worth ridiculing. I remember telling him about a trip I was planning to take with a couple of friends and the first words out of his mouth were “you might not get off the ground because of the snowstorm”. I checked. There was no snowstorm coming. There was going to be clean skies with nary a cloud for days.
Why Are People Sarcastic?
Sarcasm and ridicule are born from unhappiness. It is a knee jerk response from someone who has dealt with negativity and found that the best way to deal with it is to embrace it. It is a shield against disappointment. They may have been positive once but, like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, they lost something precious to them. In this case it is feelings of happiness and hope. If it appears that you have it then they will do everything in their power to see that you don’t have a chance to enjoy it. They might not even realize that they are doing this. It is a knew-jerk reaction from years of conditioning.
Their Path is Not Your Path
Moments of happiness are gifts. The wonderful thing is that it can come in so many forms and all you need to do is to look for them. They can be those milestone moments in life, such as getting married or landing that promotion that you’ve been hoping for. They can also be a smile of a child or the greeting you get from your dog when you arrive home. They can also be quiet moments when you are alone and watching the sun set on another day. And when someone tells you about their experience, or moment of happiness, that is a wonderful thing also. They are sharing it with you so that you can both enjoy that happiness and hope.
Let Them Go
If you have someone in your life who carries with them a cloud of negativity it might be time to let them go. You can attempt to change their worldview but you have to first ask yourself if it is worth the energy. You will not just be fighting to turn their negative comments around but you will also be fighting against its cause. A cause that they may not even recall and that has been buried for years and that has shaped who they are. It is much like changing the course of a river. It can be done but at the end of it years will have gone by, you will be exhausted, and the river may find its way back to its original course as rivers often do. The good thing about walking along the diverse-edge is that you can walk away from it when the mosquitoes come out. Those clouds of mosquitoes have one goal in mind and it’s within your power to remove yourself from that goal.I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. – Leonardo daVinci
Let Others Into Your Life
You know those moments when you share something with someone and they smile? I mean really smile? The type of smile that’s not a simple reaction to something you’ve said but is instead one that says “That’s wonderful and thank you for sharing that?” They are the smiles that cause the corners of the eyes to crinkle up and their eyes to shine. Those are the people you want in your life. Those are the people who will help to keep those clouds of mosquitoes at bay. They are your repellant against negativity. Surround yourself with them. Seek them out and share your story with them. There is happiness in sharing and, after all, isn’t that what we all truly seek?