Stealing your happiness


Why do people try to do it? Why, when you are feeling positive, happy, enthused about something, does some professional wet blanket come along and try to smother your little spark?

I’m speculating here but I think that there are different types of cynical downers who are out to make everyone as miserable as they are. The first is the person who is miserable and can’t stand anyone else being happy. They’ll always make a negative out of your positive. It apparently makes their perpetual state of gloom and doom bearable.

Then there are people who think they’re experts about a particular subject, hobby, TV series, book, whatever, and get a thrill out of trying to make the newbie look stupid so that they can maintain their illusion of superiority. You cannot make this thing your thing. It is their thing. It is the only thing they have that makes them feel special.

And finally, there is the person nursing a personal prejudice. They will actively seek out mentions of the thing that they dislike for whatever reason, and they will try to swat you with their verbal flyswatter because you unknowingly offended them.

All these people are crazy. Number One is a person we all encounter in real life at some point. That person is angry and depressed and needs professional help. Two and Three are trolls you’ll encounter online. They are problematic because they can discourage you from becoming involved in online communities devoted to your interest, but they are also people you can ignore. Easily. Mute, block, unfollow, unfriend, even report if necessary. Excise them from your online life and continue to talk about what makes you happy. Keep asking questions. Everyone’s not a jaded professional Internet killjoy. It doesn’t even matter if that person considers themselves to be the authority on whatever. It doesn’t matter if they’ve convinced other people that they run whatever site they lurk on, spreading their condescension. Because likely, a whole lot of other people dislike them, but are afraid to challenge them.

It’s silly that your fun hobby attracts people to you who want to put you down and even discourage you. Always remember that Two and Three DO. NOT. MATTER. They’re just strangers who want to feel important. Screw ’em. Read your book and post your opinions. Watch your TV show and write your reactions to this week’s episode. Enjoy collecting whatever it is you’re collecting. Nothing matters except the fact that you are having a good time. It’s a pretty damned depressing world we live in and if you can find a little bright spot, claim it and defend it.

Number One is not so easy. Number One is looming over your shoulder at school or at work or maybe even in your own home. You may have to seek out the support of others to put Number One in his or her place. You have rights. You have the right to be free of harassment at school, work, and home. If you can’t get Number One off your back, you’ll have to develop the ignore/deflect strategy. Ignore all possible negativity and deflect what can’t be ignored with casual politeness.

No matter which grouch you’re dealing with, don’t let them win. Don’t abandon what you love because they have a personal problem. Feel sorry for them if you have it in you. If you don’t, remind yourself that their problem is not your problem and they are sad pathetic little people who can only get attention by making you unhappy. Make it a point to be happy IN THEIR FACES.


2 thoughts on “Stealing your happiness

  1. This read like my experience last night. It was just what I thought in the moment for 2 and 3. I feel that people who try to take us down from our happy mood are doing it unconsciously. I’ve learned to do what you suggest and tell myself they don’t matter. Avoid and ignore them. Great work!

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