By Sandye Linnetz
What do you say to someone who constantly moans and groans and is all about everything that’s missing and crappy in his/her life? Sure, if it’s an ‘acquaintance’ you can probably tune it out and ignore it, but what if it’s a family member or an old friend who you are unwilling to simply ‘disappear’ from your life? Annoying, isn’t it? It’s easy to simply cut the negative people out of your life – and that may be the best choice, but I’m a sucker for the opportunity to empower people to turn it around! So, when you want to empower someone to see life from another perspective, What do you say? What do you do?
I, personally, love to start with sarcasm (it’s my ‘go to’ attitude with family and close friends)… Sarcasm, which, I admit, can be undeniably offensive, pretty much forces someone into ‘defend’ mode and that’s right where I want them. (Remember, we’re talking about habitual complainers not someone with a serious and immediate issue!)
I say, make those glass half empty, doomsday spouting, pessimists defend the junk that they’re putting out. Never mind that they usually can’t defend their position without sounding so nutso that even they finally see it; throwing their stuff right back at them literally puts their nose into their own shit! At some point all of their whiney rants and moans sound ridiculous even to them! Yes, I do START with sarcasm, but I almost immediately follow up with a possibility and an alternative way to look at things:
Me: “Are you looking for more evidence to prove that you’re right about how shitty your life is? No problem. Based on all that stuff, your life really stinks. I am happy to help you assemble the boatloads of evidence – it’s everywhere! Let’s look really hard and find more! It’s so obvious that your life absolutely sucks! You’re a giant sucky magnet. If it’s true that you get more of what you focus on, WOW are you focused on sittin’ right in the middle of a dung heap! The view is hellish from down there, huh?”
AND THEN THE RE-FRAME – POSSIBILTY!
“Personally, my life doesn’t always fit my pictures of what I ‘expected’, either, so I know how you feel. The stuff life can throw at me, the curve balls, sometimes rock me to my shoes… if I let it. What works for me is that I choose JOY and focus on that instead of the circumstances! I’d rather dwell on all that I HAVE and be wildly grateful, instead of dwelling on what’s missing from my life and making it even worse. And, it’s funny how the what’s missing part disappears in the abundance.”
Yes, I am a full cup gal. It works…