Thursday, 29 September 2011

Pollyanna the Cynic.

I recently replied to someones blog post in my usual knee-jerk, flippant manner. Someone replied to my viewpoint and I have to agree that I often come across as an overly cynical bastard. I do tend to expect the worst. It’s a defensive mechanism brought on by years of adversity. But I'd prefer not to be labeled as 'negative'.

Negative people are naturally defensive. Perhaps they think they are perceived as more intelligent when they point out the faults in a given situation rather than accepting the circumstances and moving on. This pseudo-intelligent pessimist seeks to cloud our sunshine moments because they are envious. If they can’t be happy, why should anyone else be? I am not this person.

My belief in Karma - my Great Mental Balancer often comes in handy when I am feeling negative. Occasionally I do dump my negativity on others and afterwards I feel obligated to pay forward the attention I've been favoured with by attending to someone else's negativity. This is not a fun past-time and reminds me not to do it to others too often.

I recently received some great advise about listening which has made the chore much easier to cope with: “Sometimes people don’t want you to fix anything. Sometimes they just want someone to hear them.” Incredible. If you aren't wracking your brain for a method to fix their problem, then you are really listening to them.

I always seek to diffuse misery, yet misery loves company. A truism often encountered in long-term workplace employees. ever notice how the two most sour workmates always hang around together. On the flip side, being surrounded by positive thinkers would be pretty tiring too. 

You'd think you’d LOVE never to be unhappy ever again, wouldn't you? I don’t. How could you appreciate the special times of unadulterated pleasure if its on tap 24/7.
Be kind when you can and think happy thoughts, people; just make sure to top them with a healthy amount of cynical sprinkles.

2 comments:

SuzyQ said...

Hmm. You've got me thinking now. I don't think living like an air-head Pollyanna, only focussing on kittens and fairy-floss is the answer either. That's taking the other extreme. Life has lots of events. Some of these are painful and some are enjoyable. It's easy to be happy during the enjoyable ones (although some people still have the knack for seeing the black lining in happy events).

I'm working this out as I write - I'm not being all 'spiritually evolved' here. What I've found useful is to try to avoid making pain into suffering. Pain comes and goes. Nice things come and go. It seems like I suffer most when I try to avoid the pain or cling to the nice things. I enjoy life most when I work out what I really get a kick out of and make those things a priority.

I think being mindful and present with whatever you're doing, or whoever you're with, is the key to lasting peace (not happiness, which is transitory). Wherever you are, be there. Look for the good. Don't go looking for shitty stuff because we've all got enough of that coming our way in our lifetimes - don't spoil the good stuff by focussing on the bad stuff.

Coops said...

Yes, agreed. It's an ongoing battle. Most of us will never reach that point Buddhist monks and swami's seem able to retain throughout adversity. We just have to keep fighting negativity. But not at the cost of our sanity. A good, loud scream in a private space is quite relieving.