A Lunch Date Wherein I Am Happy But Told I Should Not Be So Happy

You’re too happy.

I met an acquaintance for lunch.  She’d texted me the afternoon before we had lunch to arrange where she suddenly wanted to go to lunch.

Nowhere convenient, I’ll tell ‘ya that.

However, I happily rearranged my schedule to accommodate her whim preference, but that fact seemed to escape her notice as we sat there eating and talking.

Nope, she was on a rant about all that is wrong in the world;  and she needed me to know that in her opinion I was too happy when discussing the wrongs in the world.

My equanimity seemed to bring out the demons in her.

She was perturbed with me because I wasn’t in the depths of despair over The Donald’s latest bull sh!t move of telling people to go to work when they’re sick.

[How stupid &/or senile is that man?]  

Nor was I despondent enough over Elizabeth Warren, the competent presidential candidate who the news outlets marginalized, dropping out of the race.

[How sad is it that our country is so backward when it comes to electing leaders?]

Nor was I gnashing my teeth over the gloomy grayness that has been the subtext of our winter weather here.

[How soon will spring get here?] 

Yep, she was peeved with me, but she’s what I’d call an Eeyore, a bit on the gloomy side.  Always.  Which means, of course, that my Pooh-like demeanor rankles her.

I do like her if only because she reminds me that someone else’s opinion of you need not define you.  And that by talking with a variety of personality types you can, if you are open to it, learn a few things.

Like for instance, you can learn that the word ‘happy’ can have a negative connotation. Who knew, huh?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

144 thoughts on “A Lunch Date Wherein I Am Happy But Told I Should Not Be So Happy”

  1. I’m so glad you are an optimist! I think that is one reason your food must taste delicious, you put joy in it and not troubles. The things we can take action about, we must. But commiserating over things out of our control is eroding to our own beings. Perhaps she needs a lunch trip to a carnival…

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    1. Dorothy, you said it. I understand this woman. I realize she enjoys complaining which is ok to a degree, but honestly I can’t do a thing about The Donald or the DNC or the weather, so why dwell? Get on with your life already.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Hmmm, what is it about some people that they can’t abide other people’s state of mind unless it is in sync with their own? Why must they invalidate other people’s emotions? I’ve also been told variously that I am too happy, not happy enough, have no right to be upset, am not upset enough…etc. People – manage your own emotions and leave mine for me to manage!

    Deb

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    1. Deb, you nailed it with: Why must they invalidate other people’s emotions? I can’t answer that question but that’s exactly what was going on in the conversation. It’s not that I’m naive about our world, it’s just that I won’t focus exclusively on what is wrong. Who knows with some people, huh?

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  3. Oooooh! I learned a word and it applies to me – equanimity – the way I figure it, if there’s a word for it, it must be an OK thing, Remind me not to have lunch with your friend.

    I take it you’ve gotten used to the question, “doesn’t this bother you?” To which I might say, “mmm, they make a good turkey club at this place.”

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    1. Dan, laughing here. Oh that is a great line, a wonderful way to shift the conversation. Things bother me, but not all the time, nor are they all worth talking about. A turkey club, on the other hand, now that’s a good topic of conversation.

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      1. I have a friend who is engrossed in the political process. I can’t be bothered until November. All it does between now and then is add stress to my day. I can’t control what the people in South Carolina do, and I’m not about to start throwing money into the fray. Let’s just enjoy lunch.

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        1. Oh you and I are of the same mind. I feel the same way about politics right now. It’s all jibber jabber and what ifs that I cannot influence at the moment. Now come Election Day I’ll vote to send the weasels packing. But until then, I’ll have the turkey club sandwich. I hear they’re good here. 😉

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  4. Some years ago (decades now, maybe) there was a famous book by Eric Berne called Games People Play. One of the ones I encounter most often is called “Ain’t It Awful?” and it sounds to me as though you just had lunch with a consummate game-player. There’s a little more information here. The book’s well worth a read. I’m also fond of the game “Broken Leg,” where the game-player declares, “I can’t possibly [fill in the blank], because I have a broken leg [that is, I’m too old, or don’t have a degree, or have to stay at home with the kids, or…]

    Being able to spot the games makes it easier to decline to play!

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    1. shoreacres, thanks for the link to the book. I’ve never read it but it looks endlessly fascinating. As a matter of course I don’t believe that I need to fix people, but I do like understanding a person’s motivations for doing what they do. I bet you’re right, I had lunch with a game player and didn’t even know it.

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          1. Well, let me put it this way: I spent some years playing broken leg, until I read the book and recognized it for what it was. My ‘broken leg’ was an elderly mother to take care of.

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  5. You’ve always been optimistic. Don’t change. We can let negative people bring us down, or we can move on with living our lives. It’s funny. Just yesterday, I was explaining Eyore to our 4 yr old grandson. He had a hard time understanding why the donkey was so sad all the time. Kids are definitely optimists!

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    1. Beth, I like to think of myself as realistically optimistic, not Pollyanna optimistic. Big difference. That being said, I’ve known this woman for a while and know her personality. Not surprised that she was displeased with me for not wanting to commiserate extensively on the crap going on in our world.

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    1. Marian, you’re right of course. She is an energy vampire, but oddly enough I like her when she gets talking about her business and travel experiences. Still, to be sort of insulted does make me rethink our relationship.

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  6. People think not getting mad about an issue makes you blind to what’s happening in the world. Those are the people I can’t stand to be around…I could go on but I’ll stop there…

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    1. LA, exactly! That’s it in a nutshell. It’s not that I’m unaware or not concerned, but I’m not going to let the anger control my social conversations. Vent if you must, but don’t dwell, then criticize those of us who don’t dwell. 🙄

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      1. I have an acquaintance like that, and it’s straining to be with her. Especially as she’s all about the sound bite instead of the actual story

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        1. Well, that’d drive me bonkers. I want substance when talking about issues, not a sound bite. Which is why I go to lunch occasionally with this acquaintance. When she talks about her business she’s fascinating, but when she gets into political opinions she’s a drag.

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  7. There is one friend that if my demeanor doesn’t match hers, she assumes I don’t get it. I don’t understand the enormity of it all. I’m hopelessly stupid and she is doing her best to bring me up to speed. If I was like her I’d be on a super high dose of anti-depressants! Maybe even intravenous!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kate, I bet that friend of yours is a *delight* to be around. I’m sorry for you, however you’ve explained how so many people are anymore. If you don’t have the same level of interest/anger/outrage as they do, then you must be confused. What a world!

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    1. Nancy, I agree. It’s not that either one of us is unaware of what’s going on, but I cannot/will not let all this angst and negativity be my whole focus in life.

      Que sera, sera indeed.

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  8. Too happy over here as well Ally😂. There is a slew of negative we can focus on, day in, day out but believe it or not, there is also a shitload of positive. Unfortunately negative & fear mongering is what sells news, the public on a whole just gobble it up 😏.

    I choose to be relatively informed while continuing to pursue the happy. Come have lunch with me anytime 🎉💕🍷☀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn, yes, yes, you said it: I choose to be relatively informed while continuing to pursue the happy. Me too.

      I abide by the idea that energy flows where attention goes, so if that makes me seem too happy, so be it.

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  9. Nothing wrong with trying to stay on the optimistic side of things. I find it all to easy to get sucked into the misery and whining when I’m with someone who enjoys that. I don’t like myself much when that happens…

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    1. Deb, I’m a realist so I do understand how lousy things are/can be. But after I get a grasp of a situation, I see no value on dwelling on every piece of minutiae associated with it. I can’t do a thing about the big issues that are confronting us right now, and until I can [November Election Day for instance] I’ll get on with my life. Thank you very much.

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    1. Jill, I imagine you’re right about that. She can be interesting, but over the years she’s evolved into more of an energy vampire than a groovy friend. But then I’m so happy that maybe I don’t get her. 🙄

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  10. Snort! We were out for lunch last Sunday, gorgeous food, lovely day outside in the pretty garden, small group (6) – and when we did a postmortem later on, we realised that what was soooo pleasant about it was precisely because there was no angstsy moaning and groaning about the awful state of the world. We were there to catch up, have lovely food, enjoy the company, share stories, be thankful for what we have, even if we do live in a bubble. But, I have to say, toooo much sunniness can drive me a bit harry. Thanks Ally Bean, always a pleasure to read you. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

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    1. Susan, your lunch sounds lovely, the location and the attitude of the people you were with. It’s not that I’m in denial about things, but when I get together with acquaintances I’m looking for a respite from the doom and gloom. ‘Twas not to be at this particular lunch. Happy Weekend to you, too.

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  11. I’m willing to give your lunch buddy a pass. It’s impossible to know why she’s feeling so beleaguered. This administration has put a lot of people over the edge and made so many people overwhelmed and feeling helpless, hopeless, and powerless. It’s like it’s become a focal point for a lot of negativity.

    Hopefully, she’ll come to the point (and soon, for her sake) that so many of your commenters have: it’s best to compartmentalize and focus on The Good Things and live your life. Do what you think you can to effect change, but detach from the daily outrage and find some serenity.

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    1. nance, this acquaintance used to be more upbeat and she still is interesting when she’s talking about her business, BUT she’s feeling overwhelmed and helpless in regard to the decline of our country. I get that. However apparently I can detach from the outrage, to use your phrase, more easily than she can. And I won’t be drawn into her unhappiness, no matter how well I understand it.

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  12. Marian Who Isn’t The Other Marian here. I’m married to a guy who can fill me in endlessly about things I’m in no position to change in any major way. I’ve finally (after 30 years) softened his position that I don’t know the mud’s there unless I roll around in it. My mother and I read GAMES PEOPLE PLAY a long time ago, and it really helps to understand other people and to game-check oneself. Maybe I’d better read it again!

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    1. Marian Who Isn’t The Other Marian, made me laugh out loud with that. Thanks.

      You’ve nailed the way in which this acquaintance talks about issues. Lots of sound bites, never good, and then no plan to correct anything. Just more talk about what’s wrong in the world.

      I’ll look for a copy of the Games People Play. I may have heard of it, but I’m sure I never read it. It sounds like it’s as timely as today’s news.

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  13. I have a friend who is making herself sick over Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the race and the country not having a female president. The more she rants about it the more I realized she wants a female president—any female—for all the wrong reasons. Well, wrong in my opinion. I agree with her that Hillary got screwed but I won’t ruin my health over the injustices in the world. There are just too many of them. Sometimes you have to take a step back from your more passionate friends and go enjoy your own every day, boring tasks.

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    1. Jean, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I would like to see a woman president of this country, but not just for the sake of saying we have one. Warren was an excellent choice, but I trust that she knows what is best. It’s not that I don’t understand what is happening in this world, it’s that I won’t be sucked into a cycle of endlessly talking about it. I am boring. *hallelujah*

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  14. Optimism is good! We’ll live longer 😉. Being around negativity doesn’t work for me anymore. Especially if it permeates their entire life ALL the time. We all get stressed, need to vent and receive validation of our feelings at times. But it’s the constant I can’t deal with. I start to absorb the feelings and then become like them. (Speaking from personal experience). I was once called Doris Day on a hideously stressful project. I laughed about it of course, was slightly offended at first. But in the end, I was proud, only because I think it helped a good portion of people on the team to have some semblance of positivity! Cheers to the happy people in the world!

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    1. pam, I’m what is called a highly sensitive introvert which means that, like you, if I’m not careful I’ll absorb someone else’s negativity. Over the years I’ve learned how to distance myself emotionally from people who are always unhappy. I like your Doris Day story and agree with you that if the intent was to insult you, it failed. *Yay* you.

      Cheers back to you. Have a great positive weekend.

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      1. You too AB!! I have tried to emotionally distance myself from these people and then get accused of being insensitive and unsupportive. I must do it wrong!! Or I just show my disgust easily! Oh well, not my issue anymore. Lol. Life is good, even when it’s not 😊.

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        1. I’ve been accused of the same things. I keep my peace and suddenly I’m the one who is insensitive? I don’t think that is so, but if someone is determined to not like you, they’ll find a way. Oh well, whatever…

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  15. Oh, man. Snatch your happiness wherever/ wherever you can find it. The world has misery enough.

    Some people do okay dealing with the horrors the world has to offer and keep a sense of humor. I have a social worker sister who interviewed incarcerated perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. I told her that must be incredibly intense and heartbreaking. Her response: “Still better than staying home all day with a toddler.”

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    1. AutumnAshbough, I agree that the world has misery enough. Why bring it to lunch when you don’t have to? 🤨

      Your sister has a good point. It’s all about perspective. Find your happy and stick with it.

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  16. I try to give everyone an occasional pass when it comes to complaining about all the things that are wrong in the world. After all, we all have our moments when it can feel more than a little overwhelming and if we don’t let it out we might just explode.
    However, if I find someone is in a permanent state of negativity every time I see them, and even worse, tries to drag others down into their state just to keep them company – then nope sorry, life is too short for that.

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    1. Norm, I know what you mean. I’m not against venting, it’s when it becomes the only way in which a person communicates that I take notice and back away. It’s not my job to fix people, and if that’s how someone wants to be known, then so be it. Just be it somewhere farther away from me, ok?

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  17. LOL You should have told her you were NOT happy about having to go to the place SHE picked for lunch. Maybe that would have helped her see you aren’t happy ALL the time 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend! Did you sign up for the A to Z this year?

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    1. Janet, I didn’t think of that, but the irony of me happily accommodating her needs, then to be told I was too happy– well, that wasn’t lost on me. 🤨

      I’m not doing the A to Z this year. Are you?

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  18. It’s not the people who complain who bother me. It’s the people who think I should give a crap* (I want to use a stronger word) about the things they seem to hold dear, and who will berate me because I don’t. Those people need to have their Eeyore tails ripped off and be spanked with them…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, it all comes down to expectations I suppose. Do you expect/demand that people think and do like you do? Or do you let everyone do his or her own thing, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone? Uptight or mellow, I guess. People skew one way or the other.

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  19. She makes valid points in that the things she mentioned are indeed frustrating and annoying and could perhaps be dangerous. However, how does being miserable help ANYTHING? It doesn’t. If you have a generally sunny disposition and are happy to be out lunching with your friend, that is a GOOD thing. Very strange, as your being miserable would not fix any of the things she was griping about.

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    1. J, exactly. I’m aware, but I won’t sit around and gripe about it all day. Where’s the sense in that? I feel that some people have this idea that if you don’t mirror their level of emotion on something then you must not care.

      I care, but I put it in perspective. I’m not sure that the Eeyores of this world like that.

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  20. Many of my friends see Warren dropping out of the race as the end of the world. I don’t dare say maybe it wasn’t the fact she was a woman; maybe she just wasn’t the right woman to be the first woman president. They would skin me alive.

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    1. Jan, you make a good point. Warren is a brilliant woman who’d make a wonderful president, but I think the timing is wrong for her. Maybe she’ll be the VP? That’s be cool.

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  21. I couldn’t agree more! Just because you don’t want to sit around complaining about the state of the world doesn’t mean you’re unaware of the problems. It just means you know what you can control and what you can’t. And that you choose, as often as possible, to enjoy your life. Why that annoys so many people, don’t ask me, but I know from experience it does.
    I had a reader once who took me to task for not “ranting” on my blog. Why would I want to do that? There’s far too many rants on the internet already. Personally, I prefer to dwell on what united us rather than divides us. Cuz who knows? Maybe together, we can actually solve a few problems!

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    1. Ann, thank you. You said exactly what I believe to be true, too. I’m aware, I’m concerned, but I’m not going to waste my days focusing on what I can’t control. You’re right that my Pooh Bear attitude does seem to annoy some people who are more uptight than I am, as if by me being me I’m insulting them. Which I am not. 🙄

      Someone told you to rant on your blog? I’m flabbergasted by that. Why in heaven’s name would anyone want more of that crap? I’m with you, I talk about things that happen to me, not always good things, but I do so to try to unite people through conversation– not tick off someone because I can. That’s weird.

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  22. I am so tired of grumpy people and those constantly ranting over and over. Geesh. Most of that is out of your control, no Pollyanna, but misery just makes one more miserable – it’s habit. Sadly it seems many are trained to it by family as they grow up. So many just can’t have friends with a wide range of views ( how dull their lives must be…how insecure in their opinions they must be to insist on confirming people around them all the time.)
    I’m realistic and certainly not naive, but darn it, I’d rather be Pooh. Healthier – for all involved.

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    1. Amen, philmouse. It is a habit to be miserable, isn’t it? I hadn’t thought of that. I agree that there must be a high degree of insecurity among people who need to have their opinions confirmed by the group, whatever the group is.

      I’m a free spirit you know. One with Pooh-like tendencies, both in attitude and in my desire for a smackerel now and then. 😋

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  23. How dare you not sharing my outrage… that’s just outrageous! 🙂 I can get behind a good rant now and then but, most of the time, it’s just exhausting. I usually just tell them that they are “preaching to the choir” and could we change the subject to something more uplifting. If that doesn’t work, I make a mental note to cut back on further interactions, at least until the outrage du jour is over. Life is too short and all that.

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    1. Janis, well said. That’s about what happened at the lunch. Like you I’m not against a bit of complaining/venting/ranting, but there are limits. I’m a good listener, so in some ways I get myself into these situations by nature. But overall when it comes to conversations about politics or the weather, less is more. Move on, lighten up.

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  24. Keep on being your Pooh self, Ms Bean! I love that there are positive people in the world who don’t let the miserable people drag them down. I can be guilty of the occasional wallow, but I’m always ultimately looking for the happy place.

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    1. Eilene, I, too, get depressed from time-to-time, but in the end, like you said, I’m looking for the happy place. It’s my recent observation that this acquaintance is more Eeyore than I ever realilzed. Oh well, not a bad person, just perhaps caught in a loop of unhappy.

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  25. Ally – some people seem to be put on Earth for the sole purpose of being a malcontent. Nothing will ever satisfy them and that you’re just rollin’ with the punches clearly is an irritant. I’ve known people like that too, and not that I am Pollyanna, but there can be a limit to what one can gripe about sometimes. I was reading along, nodding my head in agreement, especially this line:

    “Yep, she was peeved with me, but she’s what I’d call an Eeyore, a bit on the gloomy side. Always. Which means, of course, that my Pooh-like demeanor rankles her.”

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    1. Linda, you are right about her being a malcontent. It’s funny to me because she is quite interesting when she talks about her business or her travels, but when it come to other areas of her life, or the people involved in her business or travels, she’s not a happy person. I don’t hate her at all, but I am Pooh. Deal with it.

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  26. Ally, I love your Pooh-like, yet realistic demeanour. We need more Poohs and less Eeyores. And, yes, we can learn something from everyone. Such as how we do not want to look at the world. Always nice to catch up with you!

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    1. Erica/Erika, it’s not that I don’t see the bad things going on in the world, I do. And it’s not that I don’t understand the implications of things that are going on, I do. But I won’t dwell. If I can’t do anything in the moment to solve the problem, then it’s duly noted, but I move on. Odd to me how that attitude annoys some people.

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  27. It’s only good manners to be cheerful with friends. It’s a kindness. We can be alert and aware of our country’s problems, but complaining and making ourselves unhappy won’t solve them. For the most part, our only power is to vote, and that’s a very small part of our day. I’ve taken part in a couple of marches, and–at least in my town–the people who joined the march were cheerful and friendly. Why not?

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    1. Nicole, yes, yes. You’ve said it here. It is good manners to be cheerful, especially when meeting an acquaintance who is on the outer rim of my social friendships. She isn’t my BFF who I share all things with. I also agree about the power of the vote, which I will do in a very blue way come November. But in the meantime, I’ll talk about things, but I will not get sucked into a morass of despair. Call me Pooh.

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    1. Donna, that’s an understatement. I know many lovely smart people who make me feel whole, but I also know some confused individuals who can be exasperating. Those are the ones who make for the best blog posts. But they don’t define me. Nor should they.

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  28. Ugh – it’s not easy feat to be in a happy place as an adult. If you find yourself there, you definitely don’t need other people giving you directions toward the way out.

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    1. Allie P, you’re right. It’s not that I’m a dippy Pollyanna, I’ve a good deal of snark & snarl in me BUT I won’t spend my days in a constant state of despair. Where’s the smart in that?

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  29. My baby brother (aged 50 something) is an Eeyore. My sister, who lives near him and interacts with him all the time is always trying to cheer him up. I told her she is Piglet, and we both laughed as we promised not to tell the brother that he is Eeyore. I’m painting a picture of Piglet now to send to her…she’s going to hang it somewhere in her house and not tell him the story behind it.

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    1. Dawn, that’s hilarious. I love it. It seems to me that anything that makes a Piglet feel empowered whilst dealing with an Eeyore is a good thing. Do you suppose you’re brother will ever catch on? 🤔

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      1. I doubt it. I wonder if he even remembers the Pooh stories our folks read to us when we were kids. Plus, somehow I think that Eeyores never really recognize that they are Eeyores.

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        1. Dawn, as an Eeyore, I can tell you, we do recognize it. And we are so, so, so grateful for the Piglets and Rabbits and Poohs and Tiggers that love us despite our tendency to be sad, sorry sorts.

          I gotta say reading the comments today bummed me out, but maybe that’s my Eeyore shining through.

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          1. Katie, I’d never have taken you for an Eeyore by reading your blog. You strike me as an Owl with some Rabbit mixed in: smart with a bit of bounce. HOWEVER if you say you’re an Eeyore I’ll believe you. We Poohs are the sorts of bears who do that.

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            1. I LOVE the idea of being Owl with a bit of Rabbit. (I’ve always loved pragmatic, bossy Rabbit.) You’re sweet to say that. And I’m certainly glad that my blog doesn’t show too much of my Eeyore. 😉

              A.A. Milne certainly created some really wonderful characters in those stories.

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  30. This is perfect: “I do like her if only because she reminds me that someone else’s opinion of you need not define you.” I have friends who express such despair over current events that I find it difficult to be around them. I’m no Pollyanna but total despair is bad for my mental health 😉

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    1. Marie, I understand. I’m no Pollyanna either so I know what you mean about dealing with people who are all about despair, all the time. I like this acquaintance when she’s talking about her business, but when she gets off into the world of complaining… I want to be elsewhere.

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  31. I used to be Eeyore, but then I had kids and after a time I realized doom & gloom just fosters more doom & gloom. Doesn’t mean we can’t feel negative feelings (I’d say it’s unhealthy if we don’t feel a full range of emotion), but dwelling in that space without looking at the flip side or coming from a place of solution or strategy doesn’t do anyone any bit of good.

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    1. Kate, I agree with you. You have to acknowledge that life is crappy sometimes, but to stay stuck in that thought isn’t healthy. I’m a solutions girl at heart, so while I don’t necessarily see everything as a problem, when I do see a problem I want to have a solution. Not dwell/whine about it, Eeyore style.

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  32. Although I do vent a bit on my blog(a lot?) I tend to be a happy person with a lively sense of the ridiculous. It has helped me through many tough situations. Lacking any control over most of what’s happening in this world, I refuse to be miserable about it.

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    1. Margaret, yes you said it. I’m know what’s going on, but I can put it in perspective. If I can do something to solve a problem I will, but to fret over things 24/7, no way.

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  33. The start of your post made me a bit ragey (How can anyone be TOO happy?) but then I kind of recognised the type as you went on and it turned into something of a sigh and a shrug. I’m a glass half full kinda gal but The Husband is a glass half empty type and I’ve realised recently (after one ridiculous row over a car) that his forceful expression of things he dislikes actually triggers something in my head and gets my back up. I’m hoping this discovery will stop the trigger. Negative people can be exhausting. (On the plus side, he’s shifted position on the car in response to my arguments so, you know, triggers aren’t all bad maybe.)

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    1. MOSY, I like your sigh and a shrug response. That’s how I felt about this lunch conversation. I’ve known this acquaintance for years, so her dreary attitude is no surprise. Also, that may have been our last lunch together, all things considered.

      You make a good point about how some negative people can trigger something in you, but they are exhausting in the process. I’m glad you and your husband came to an agreement about the car. It takes all kinds, I suppose.

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  34. This resonated with me, Ally, because I actually lost a friend after the 2016 election due to the fact that I wasn’t as outraged about Trump as he was. I’m aware of family members and friends falling out because they were either pro or anti-Trump, but never someone who ostensibly shares the same views as myself. I felt at that time, as I do now, that if we’re all going to survive this period we can’t stay in a permanent state of rage. I hope you have better luck with this friend than I had with mine. – Marty

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    1. Marty, yours is an interesting story. I agree that it’s odd for someone who ostensibly shares the same views as you do to get upset with you for not being outraged enough. After posting this the other day I’m getting the feeling that this is going on more often than I realized. I’m to a point where I feel like no matter what the topic is, I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Which is freeing, and annoying, at the same time.

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  35. As you suspect from blogland, I am generally a light, happy, optimistic person. My natural function is more up and on than most people. However, I sometimes encounter people who are just too bloody cheerful – it’s put-on, I can tell and I can’t take it — they often add a religious overtone, blessing me and thanking dieties and it’s just too much.
    You do not seem like that to me.
    I get heated, I get riled, I huff and I rant, I just get over it quickly.
    Now, I live with two depressives, so I am often the target for their disdain when I try to point out the positives, so there must be some sorta relative gauge here, ya know? When they’re at their worst, I am the worst. That sounds like your lunch. How dare you be displeased with things and still be pleasant and content! What gall you have! Please do try to bring down the mood around you, because that’s what the world needs: more angry people ready to yell about it.

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    1. joey, you said: What gall you have! and that’s exactly how I interpreted this acquaintance’s assessment of me. I’m not a relentlessly cheerful person, I am extremely adept at seeing the irony + bs in things and saying so in a charmingly cynical way. And like you when I’m irritated I say so then get over it quickly. However this acquaintance, it seems to me, wants people to be angry so me being me was offensive to her. Oh well, whatever.

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    1. Twindaddy, I don’t understand that either. Yet I’m running into more people who live angry and seem to want to bring the rest of us down, too.

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  36. I’d rather go to lunch with you, and you can pick the spot. 🙂 I know so many people in real life and on line who are tied in knots over all the garbage that is going on. I always ask myself if I can do anything about it, and the answer is always ‘no,’ so why do I want to spend my day in an uproar over it. As you said, when it’s time to vote, I’ll go vote, but even then there isn’t much I can do about the results so I’m not planning on being in a bad mood for the next several years. 🙂

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    1. Judy, you said it: “I always ask myself if I can do anything about it, and the answer is always ‘no,’ so why do I want to spend my day in an uproar over it.” That’s my exact thinking. But that attitude does seem to provoke some people, for whatever reason. 🤨

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    1. Laurie, using Milne’s categories is so universal and immediately understood. Although I think that we’re all a mixture of more than one character, but as a rule of thumb one personality predominates.

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  37. joy robbers, I tell ya – anyone that gets cynical about someone else’s joy!

    and this story reminds me of when a friend – back in 2007 – called me and invited herself over for lunch – well said she and her two kids would be passing by and asked if it would work to get together – because we had been trying to for a while – and so I was glad she made the call – I was out – but said I would go home and make us lunch –
    I actually had to stop at the store to get a nice lunch for our kids and she and I –
    so she calls me half an hour before hand and said she was now too tired and was going to go straight home.
    I got a little pissy – not normal for me – but she ended up coming over for lunch and kept her plans after I changed mine for her.
    we stopped hanging out a couple of years after that and nice woman – but just didn’t connect

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    1. Yvette, I can see why you and that friend went your separate ways. There’s nothing wrong with people not being friends forever, even if Facebook is trying to convince the world otherwise. Joy robbers is a good term for those people who just. cannot. be. happy. for. you. *meh*

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  38. A wide berth, Ally. That’s all I’ve got for people like that who feel the need to constantly rain. I work hard to stay optimistic and see the happy side of life. Someone like this would send me into a funk.

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    1. Joanne, I’m like you. I work at being upbeat and intentionally not letting the world drag me down. I don’t need to be around someone who focuses on the opposite of that. Interesting woman when she talks about her business and travel, but her attitude is a bit much for me.

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        1. I’m thinking that “thanks for asking but I’m busy” will suffice. Acquaintance isn’t a close friend, and she’s an extrovert who knows everyone, so I’ll fall out of favor with her quickly and she’ll move on. No harm, no foul.

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  39. Some people are married to their negativity and thrive on complaining. She sounds like one of them. I admire you for putting up with it. While I consider myself more of a realist than an optimist, I find people like that draining.

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    1. The Travel Architect, while I understand why this acquaintance behaves this way, I find it tiring. It’s not something I need to put up with, so I won’t be doing so in the future. I suspect that she’ll soon forget me and move onto someone who is less happy, more like her own temperament. And that’s ok by me.

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  40. O M G! Honestly, how did you keep your eyebrows from disappearing into your hair? 🙄 Thing is, we can’t all be angry or activists. Just because we’re not ranting & raging doesn’t mean we don’t care. It’s like donating to charity – some make a big noise about it, others quietly donate on a regular basis to those charities which have touched their life. In all aspects of life, we make choices which work for us as individuals. I’ve recently de-friended someone on FBook after one too many negative & judgemental comments on my wall. They’ve been muted for a while so I don’t see their posts but I’ve gotten too weary to deal with their stuff in my face. I’m confident they mean well but – these days – I’m all about the boundaries.

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    1. Deb, oh, you know, being a pooh bear I’m not unfamiliar with people criticizing me for not being like them. This acquaintance is a smart woman with her own business but she tends to negative. If I was on FB, which I’m not, I’d mute her, maybe de-friend her even. I can understand why you did what you did, and honestly I think we all need to reinforce our boundaries because I’m not so sure some people mean well with what they say. Those people live for the controversy and the complaining. And I just won’t. 🤨

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      1. A pooh bear? Oh, what a lovely image 🙂

        You have a good point about those people and what they live for. I spend so much time trying to make sure I understand other people’s points of view that I sometimes forget that truth.

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