Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Unhappy Friend

I’ve been spending the morning thinking about situations and people, especially those who are not happy in their current situations.

I wish I had the courage to tell them that when they are unhappy, they make those around them unhappy as well.  But because we care about our unhappy friends, we try to coax them out of their unhappiness, which adds more stress all around. What makes this worse is that UF (Unhappy Friends) don’t realize this and continue to be unhappy.

I used to be that Unhappy Friend (and in some ways, I still am).

I wallowed in situations I felt I could not control or overcome. When friends suggested happy alternatives, I found explanations as to why those alternatives would not work/succeed. It finally took someone who didn’t know me very well to state rather baldly that I was a huge downer and poisoning my work environment because friends were too nice to tell me off and instead tiptoed around me, hoping they wouldn’t set me off.

Rude awakening? You betcha.
Time for self-reflection, STAT? Absolutely.

Do I still have unhappy moments? Without a doubt.  But now, I try to identify the source of my unhappiness and also try to think about how my mood will affect those around me. It doesn’t always work, and I don’t catch my unhappy mood in time to not affect my friends and loved ones. But I DO get there in the end, and also apologize to those around me for causing them discomfort.

The Unhappy Friend in your life may be unable to do that right now, because they’ve either been stuck in their unhappy situation for so long, they don’t know how to get out of it;
Or (Harsh Fact) - they may actually ENJOY being the center of negative attention and thrive on the fact that they can control their friends, co-workers, ______  (fill in the blank) through their unhappiness and negativity.

In which camp does YOUR Unhappy Friend fall?

More importantly, how much do you CARE about your Unhappy Friend to find out and help them find a way out of their situation?

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