They are numerous, ever-present, ubiquitous; present at work, parties, and even family gatherings.
If attitude is indeed contagious, they are the Ebola virus of a positive outlook. Bringing their own “gloomy sunshine” wherever they go, they leave behind a trail of mental and emotional destruction wider than a hurricane’s wake. Should we discover the cure to all illnesses tomorrow, they would protest that it put the doctors out of business.
We can tell they’re nearby, even before they open their mouths. Dour expressions firmly etched into grim-faced expressions and unconstrained bitterness dripping from their souls, they pummel, pound, and persist until they reveal the dark cloud behind any silver lining. Even after short encounters with these denizens of dourness, their dark energy can drain the happiness from even the most upbeat individual. They are Eyore to our Tigger, Ying to our Yang, frowns to our smiles; they are (insert ominous music…) the “bearers of badatude.”
Whether it’s due to the state of the world, the change in seasons, or just bad luck, they do seem to have multiplied lately. (Maybe it’s their mating season?) For whatever the reason, it seems more difficult to avoid them than it used to be.
Ever the helper — and in the interest of public service and a better community attitude — I offer a few suggestions on how to deal with complainers.
Rule One: Understand that when a freight train is roaring down the tracks at you, GET OUT OF THE FREAKIN’ WAY! Do not plant yourself firmly, attempting to block its path, expecting to convince it to take the switch. Instead, realize that batatude folks are better about plowing you over and dragging your formerly upbeat demeanor into a negative mood than you will ever be at changing their direction. They are professionals; having honed the dark art to a fine talent, they inflict bad attitude among even the most optimistic individuals. You — on the other hand — pale in experience when it comes to turning it around. It’s not a fair competition; don’t even try. You will lose. Move elsewhere; if not physically, then certainly to the happy place in your head.
Having not been able to circumnavigate Mister Miserable, the next step is to put it in perspective by employing the “Five Year Rule.”