Monday, August 22, 2011

Happiness Vampires: The Sagas

Prologue: I know you may expect this from a Romanian but this is not another Moonlight story :-)

Once upon a time I told you about being a good Happymaker and not trying to work your happymaking magic with people who have no intention to be happy or don't believe they can even be... Well let's say such people split into two cathegories:
  • unhappy and harmless
  • unhappy and true Happiness Vampires
Now as a self proclaimed Happymaker and coming from a country that makes all my small talks focus around one single question wherever I travel (although I must admit, since the INNA mania people are no longer asking me about castles and vampires) I thought I should say something about the Happiness Vampires and how to fight them!

1. How do you identify them?
Easy one- can be a friend, a colleague or if you are unlucky enough someone in the family (that's the worse since u can run but not hide forever) who is constantly miserable, declared pessimist, negativism's BFF, complains about EVERYTHING or insists on one particular topic, but main point is that HE/SHE NEVER DOES ANYTHING ABOUT IT! .....easy so far.

2. Why is this bad? I know you may want to help them...or are a good listener...and have a huge heart, but there are some limits :-) First I'm telling you, these people enjoy being miserable or are too lazy to do anything about it. And am 100% sure they will find something else to require your full attention even if you help them sort out their current issue. So it's bad because you spend lots of ENERGY, you invest too much TIME in this, it may also get expensive and last but not least you may start feeling bad about not being able to do anything about it and doubt your skills in helping out.

3. Opportunity costs- I'm an Economist after all :) so think that everytime you invest too much of any of the above (Energy, Time, Money and Feelings), SOMEONE ELSE, who may badly need them, won't get them.

4.What to do?- of course you may not have the strength to walk away nor the heart to phisically hurt someone to teach some discipline...but there are ways:
  • Change the topic, space out, take off- if you can :-)
  • Find another victim aka some fresh blood- eg "I can't help you but X would be more than happy to give you a hand"
  • And last one- the serious one- HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE- ask them what are they doing about it, show them not doing anything about it is wrong...let them talk but to some extent...check again what they are planning to do about it. And be persistent about it! Ask them every time what they do about some point if they don't plan to do anything about it they will stop complaining or best case they will actually DO something about it.
Epilogue: Got more suggestions? Add them below and let's join forces :-) Garlic and Silver for everyone!

the Happymaker