Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Stealing Your Joy

Things are going well. Work is going fine, maybe you just got promoted. Your relationship is on solid ground. The kids are alright. Life is good. You’re appreciating and enjoying this smooth patch because at some point, things could change. Right now, though, you’re good; but not for long, if some people can help it.

Sadly, there are people who won’t share your happiness. Even worse, there are some people who will actively try to sabotage it. The saying misery loves company is tragically true. They will try to replace certainty with doubt, planting nasty little bugs in your ear: Are you sure he’s working late? They say feigning concern about your marriage.

They grit their teeth when you talk with pride about your child’s latest achievement. The offer you cake and fried chicken when you are losing weight or complain that you are too thin when you reach your goal.

Maybe they don’t talk to you at all. Maybe they talk about you to other people, complaining, nagging, gossiping about you to anyone who will listen.

Trying to change them is useless; so why try? The best way to defend yourself against these killjoys is to maintain a safe distance and create a buffer zone around you by surrounding yourself with those who want to share your joy and not steal it.

The holiday season is upon us and unfortunately, some of these killjoys might also be kin! If you can, still create that buffer zone. Another thing you can do is make it a game. Killjoys love to push your buttons, so when they start pushing, you start smiling. See how many times you can deflect their negative arrows. Heck, it might even be fun.

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