Save the Downers! Wait! Don’t!

So, a video has made its way around youtube and facebook and twitter, into the WLS circle, and like a curious kitty, I sat down to watch. The premise is “How to deal with Negative People”. We all know negative people right? Wait a minute!! We all have a negative side, don’t we? Are we androids? Are we programmed to only receive positive input? Well…. I continued to watch.

This very beautiful, very well spoken woman continued to say that initially she is attracted to negative people, they give her a project, they excite her, because she can teach them how to bring positivity into their lives.

I’m not naming the woman who did this video, nor am I sharing the post, because frankly I think that while beautifully spoken, the message is quite mean. If you try to save the “Debbie the downer” and eventually they become a “Vampire” sucking the positivity out of you, you must ditch them. Get them out of your life. They are not good enough.

Ya know, we all wake up every day not knowing what the future has in store for us. Very often, we come in contact with other people, who walk a similar path as we do, and sometimes they are looking for support. Now, it is up to you if you choose to be a supportive person or if you choose to kindly listen and excuse yourself. No judgment to be had. Sometimes, we just don’t have enough to give, to help somebody in need.

picture credit n3v3r_LOV3 @ Deviant Art

The vast majority of us with in this WLS community are here, a part of the COMMUNITY, because we both need support and have experiences to share! Isn’t that the whole point of the social network of our community? To learn, share, inspire, be inspired?

If  “DOUG” comes into our community, full of fear or questions or issues, isn’t it likely that Doug will be inundated with words of encouragement, some advice, some understanding? Some will commiserate, and others will tell him that it will get better, and if it doesn’t get better perhaps he should seek out XYZ as his next step. Doug can take this as he pleases. He didn’t come in asking to be a project, he came in a vulnerable person, struggling with an issue. He didn’t ask for saving, he asked for support and advice.

Who are we to consider another human being an “undertaking”, a “project”? Are we so superior in this life, that we can look down on the helpless souls and offer them enlightenment to become a superior human?  Isn’t trying to teach somebody to expel all negativity from their lives, unrealistic? And what of these people who invest their trust in this superior super positive, seemingly happy, has it all Mary? What happens to them, when the person who has offered to save them and bring them to higher ground, drops them like a hot potato, because they are not learning fast enough, and their negativity becomes energy sucking and toxic to the positivity guru?

This all brings me back to one of my very first posts as a blogger. When mean girls get skinny. Mean spirited, is mean spirited. Superiority complex is superiority complex be it fat or thin, be it at 18 or 58.

Suggesting to tighten your circle to those who are like minded, leaves a whole bunch of people on self appointed pedestals , looking down on people you deem inferior, picking and choosing who you will lead to greatness and the next vacant pedestal.

pic credit ded2232

Stop self glorifying. Stop leaving the people who need you the most, more broken than whey they put their faith in you! Tap into your humanity people! Offer a hand because its the right thing to do, not because you need a hobby. Life is too short to try to live up to other people’s expectations. Choose your support carefully.

Finally a fitting poem, found with the picture above:

You used flattery as building blocks
To build me a fine pedestal
Helped me climb the dizzying heights
Where I turned to pure crystal

And on this tall pedestal
When in pride I look around
I found other pedestals there
Statues perched above the ground

All swaying in the winds of change
That your glances brought around
Silently waiting for your steadying touch
All discreet and making no sound

Your very touch made them sparkle
Your attention shone out like a sun
And then sometimes you’d move away
When the statue was no longer fun

Other statues needed attention
Lest they fall and crash
Yet at times you pushed them hard
When you felt they were brash

I watched from tottering heights
The games you played on the ground
But because I was made of crystal now
I could not utter a protesting sound

I looked then heavenwards
For a cloud to come my way
That I may cling to it
And somehow get away

But every time the clouds did come
On me you shone your eyes
I stood shivering on the pedestal
As if I was made of ice

I wait to will myself some wings
I hope I’ll get them some day
And from your alluring gaze
I’ll simply fly away

~Siddharth Sanyal~


9 thoughts on “Save the Downers! Wait! Don’t!

  1. hooray for tight circle!!! Love my Michelle 😀
    Not everyone is Molly McCheery and people just need to deal with that and accept it.
    Also, just because someone is a realist, does not make them a pessimist or a downer.
    If the sky is cloudy then the sky is cloudy and there is not a single platitude that will change that.

    • Love my Mel!!
      I’m realistic about people who want the to be all about their drama, but part of me wonders if they do this because they don’t know how to connect in another way. So, I keep an open mind about support, and if I have nothing to offer, I keep my mouth shut. If I do have something to offer, I extend a hand, just like others did for me. No need to cut people down because they don’t become Suzy Sunshine with in X amount of days or months.

  2. Holy cow, I have been really trying to bring positivity into my life lately, but it certainly never crossed my mind to make someone else my “project”. I am a big enough screw up myself to keep me busy for a very long time. As much as I am trying to lessen the negativity around me and within me, I know that this is a personal choice. I may post positive quotes or affirmations to try to spread some love, but I would never shove it up anyone’s ass or try to fix, renovate, or convert anyone from the dark side. I actually spent a large portion of my life on the darkside and I know that there is value in visiting Downerville and lessons to be learned there. My choices are merely my opinion on how I should best approach my life. I (or anyone else for that matter) have no business trying to make or insist upon the choices others make for their life. To each their own. I ascribe to the Hard Rock philosophy ~ “Love all, serve all”.

    • we all look to improve ourselves, and in trying to be better, we try to be positive. But somebody else who has a shitty day, week or month will not effect my self image. I will offer as much support as I can. I wouldn’t walk away because they are simply too much.

      • Agreed. Walking away because someone is “too much work”, that comes from ego, not from spirit. The motivation for the offering the help in the first place was flawed and self-serving.

  3. I found the video horribly offensive, we obviously had a mutual friend on FB who shared it, and I left my opinion there. I think your blog was awesome. There are the Suzy Sunshines and there is the Debby Downers most people fall in between but I am more partly sunny to cloudy with severe thunderstorms personality wise. But I am a supportive friend and in all my friendships there is reciprocity. I don’t take up relationships though as projects, I have ended relationships though, where there was manipulation, no reciprocity in support in bad times and jealousy and resentment in the few good times I have. Because I have MH issues, but a great self awareness, I know I am best with my friends in small doses, and will isolate myself when I am not doing well, but my relationships are based upon reciprocity in good times and bad.My friends know I keep away on purpose not to drain them. Some people will suck the life out of you, given the opportunity, it’s not wrong to end the relationship if it’s sucking one dry. Some people either are not meant to be friends, or have too many barriers to sustain a healthy friendship for both parties, ending that friendship gracefully, especially if you have a friend who has MH issues or is an unintentional sucker, needs to be done with respect. Her premise though for seeking out people and then dropping them if she can’t make them a Suzy Sunshine like herself is despicable.

    • Yes Lisa, it made it’s way around. Some people find value in it, and wish to emulate the behavior. I wonder, where do they think they came from? To give advice, shouldn’t we have experience? Can one be always positive? No. It’s a mask to hide sorrow/shame/anger/self loathing. Fortunately there are many forms of “support” to choose from, and I for one find this theory incredibly selfish, self glorifying and suckish.

  4. I THANK YOU for making me laugh in MY Debbie Downer times, like NOW. They don’t/wont last forever. I will never be perky. But I will be giddy and silly again soon….very soon!

  5. I sent you the link to this already but, your post really made me think about this song (I’ll post lyrics here too):

    He left a card, a bar of soap and a scrubbing brush next to a note
    That said “use these down to your bones”
    And before I knew I had shiny skin and it felt easy being clean like him
    I thought “this one knows better than I do”

    A triangle trying to squeeze through a circle
    He tried to cut me so I’d fit

    And doesn’t that sound familiar? Doesn’t that hit too close to home?
    Doesn’t that make you shiver; the way things could’ve gone?
    And doesn’t it feel peculiar when everyone wants a little more?
    And so that I do remember to never go that far,
    Could you leave me with a scar?

    So the next one came with a bag of treats, she smelled like sugar and
    spoke like the sea
    And she told me don’t trust them, trust me
    Then she pulled at my stitches one by one, looked at my insides clicking
    her tongue and said
    “This will all have to come undone”

    A triangle trying to squeeze through a circle
    She tried to blunt me so I’d fit

    And doesn’t that sound familiar? Doesn’t that hit too close to home?
    Doesn’t that make you shiver; the way things could have gone?
    And doesn’t it feel peculiar when everyone wants a little more?
    And so that I do remember to never go that far,
    Could you leave me with a scar?

    I think I realized just in time, although my old self was hard to find
    You can bathe me in your finest wine but I’ll never give you mine
    ‘Cos I’m a little bit tired of fearing that I’ll be the bad fruit nobody buys
    Tell me, did you think we’d all dream the same?

    And doesn’t that sound familiar? Doesn’t that hit too close to home?
    Doesn’t that make you shiver; the way things could have gone?
    And doesn’t it feel peculiar when everyone wants a little more?
    And so that I do remember to never go that far,
    Could you leave me with a scar?
    Could you leave me with a scar?

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