Pay it forward?

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Mr. Normal
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Pay it forward?

Post by millipede »

I think most people are familiar with that phrase. The idea to share something positive, whether it's a kind word or paying for a meal at a drive-thru, the idea is to do something nice and hope that it will touch someone enough that they'll do the same to someone else. It spreads and spreads. When it's organized, like a local radio station creating a day for it, you'll see a LOT of people doing this... and, it does continue on and on with people spreading positivity... I've seen this happen at drive-thrus before where people continue to pay for the next person in line. I often find fads, trends, and things where someone TELLS you what to do, to be silly and I HATE conformity... but, this is quite the positive thing and just spreads naturally. Even kind words... when someone does something nice for you, it lifts you up and in turn, you're often kinder to those around you.

What about negativity? Sadly, this is, possibly, MORE contagious than positivity. When you're having a bad day you might be short with someone else and thereby create friction in their life that they might not have needed. I've watched people react to each other and then to others around them. We've all seen it and, we've all done it... we might respond to someone in a bad way because we were already upset, not because that person "deserved" to be talked to that way.

What I really want to talk about today, though, is more along the lines of gossip and, complaining. Yes, complaining. I wonder if anyone might complain or roll their eyes :roll: at the mere thought of me typing up something long... :P

Complaints are catchy. I could probably write a LOT about complaining but, I want to focus on how they affect people around us and how it can often lead to increasing our own unhappiness. Too often people complain(I could end the sentence there) to someone we know will understand... that other person means well but their "help" can often create more frustration and even bitterness. Think about complaining about someone(gossip) and your friend agreeing with you. Think about it for a moment...
"I know, right..." or "yeah, I can't believe they do that...."
I have watched people that do that with one another and I have watched their unhappiness and bitterness grow and grow. Instead of finding relief they find justification for their negative attitudes. Yes, I said attitudes. We can develop those quite easily... and yes, I know Larry down the hall might do a lot of frustrating stuff but, that shouldn't CONTROL how you feel each day. So many of us allow ourselves to be controlled by the frustrations of other people. And sadly..... people trying to be our friends can contribute to the frustration to the point where we become embittered towards Larry...
Once you start to be bitter about something or someone, it literally controls how you react... not just to Larry but, all sorts of other things. You begin to dread your day and when that happens... you'll notice EVERY last thing that could go wrong and it ends up FEELING way worse than it actually is.

You see... we can often pay forward our negativity... sometimes even while trying to help someone. I've watched it happen to people. It's not pretty... and it's not healthy. Do you want to be miserable? Do you want your friends and loved ones to be miserable? Probably not.
When you have a close friend or relative complaining to you, support them but don't encourage the complaining...

Wait... what's the solution? Listen... Support them in ACKNOWLEDGING how they FEEL... then, encourage them with POSITIVITY... Don't jump in and support them by also badmouthing someone they're upset with because this just allows them to feel good(for a moment) about complaining. I can testify that complaining can FEEL good and even be therapeutic... but, that's only as long as it's just some venting and doesn't lead to a bitterness that controls how you feel. If you're upset with Larry and then go around constantly being upset and bothered ALL the time, that's not healthy... and, it's not Larry's fault.
I guess this message is mostly for people lending an ear to a good friend. Sitting around bashing other people and justifying negative attitudes is not helpful to them. Not at all. I know you mean well but, you might be paying forward a nasty attitude.
Weird thoughts? I think there's something to it, and I hope people read it and consider it.

I often find myself talking about finding the balance in things. When helping someone that's complaining, we don't want to join with them in the complaints... neither do we want to ignore how they're feeling at the moment. How they feel is real to them at that moment and needs to be acknowledged... but it doesn't need to be encouraged. Lend an ear... listen... comfort them... you can do that without joining in the negativity... you can bring positivity to the conversation without feeling like you're betraying them. It takes some intentional thoughts and words but it's worth it... truly.
If this is done right, your friend will be left feeling better and you, hopefully, wont end up feeling worse... as, unfortunately, when you embrace the negativity it can spoil your world. Your friend comes to complain about Larry and the next thing you know, you're feeling it too... and that will change how you respond to Larry and even other people. I've seen too many people, friends and relatives, that have become so bitter towards other people, they literally complain about whomever isn't there. I've lost interest in being around a few people because they've become so bitter towards others. Every last thing gets them upset and causes them to hold grudges and gossip behind people's backs. It's a sad thing to watch.

If this message makes any sense to you... if you have either seen this happen or been a part of it(or both)... if you know people that could use this message today... please pay it forward by sharing. There should be links(buttons) below you can click to share this on various social media...

Changing the way we interact with people that are complaining can change the way they, and you, feel and can help shape the way they handle future frustrations. There are going to be lots of frustrating situations in your life... lots of Larry's that drive you nuts. We can help each other express how we feel without being swallowed up by it.
I pray that these thoughts will help some people view life just a little differently. :) And if you can find me, I'm here to lend an ear if you need one.

"But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:"
- Job 12:7