Who is right? Who is wrong?

Who is right? Who is wrong?
You have accomplished a goal. People compliment you. You are proud of that accomplishment but before you can savour it, someone chooses to point out why your accomplishment is really not an accomplishment, or that it is no "big deal". 

You may have had an experience like this when someone tries to rob you of your joy. This person is aptly referred to as a "Debbie Downer". As you continue to go through life, you are going to meet at least one.

Where are the “Debbie Downers”?
  • You will meet them in your homes.

  • You will meet them in your places of work.

  • You will meet them in school.

  • You will meet them at your places of worship.

  • You will meet them in your recreational spaces.

  • You will meet them on social media platforms. 

  • You will meet them everywhere you go. 

Who are the "Debbie Downers"?

  • They are your relatives. 

  • They are your friends.

  • They are your neighbours.

  • They are your colleagues.

  • They are acquaintances.

  • They are strangers.

  • They are a combination of these people.

  • They are those people who see their duty in this world as that of squeezing every joy out you, if they get their way. 

  • They are always right. Everybody else is always wrong. You, their target, are a source of irritation to them.

Why do you irritate the “Debbie Downers”?

You irritate them because:

  • You are too confident.

  • You do not dress the way that they would have you dress.

  • You do not speak the way that they would have you to speak.

  • You do not walk the way that they would have you walk.

  • You do not express yourself in writing the way that they would express themselves. That is, you do not use words the way that they would or the ones that they would use.

  • You are happy.

  • You are good at what you do. You know it and they know it.

  • You choose to see beauty and goodness in people and things, but you should not do this because, according to the law of the "Debbie Downers", beauty and goodness are what they say it is, so your insights are irrelevant.

  • You choose to have ideas and aspirations that are different from theirs.

  • You choose to challenge the status quo.

  • You do not take yourself too seriously

There is not much that you can do right in the eyes of the "Debbie Downers", except whatever they approve.

What motivates the “Debbie Downers”?

The "Debbie Downers" are having their own identity crisis. They are being swamped by their own feelings of inadequacy, so they try to feel better about themselves by making you feel bad about yourself. They amuse themselves by not highlighting the positive in anything that you do and they thrive on doling out backhanded compliments.

And the temerity of these "Debbie Downers"! They try to convince you that what they say to you is for your own good. They know what is best for you. They are just trying to help you. But "you don't take telling".

Responding to the “Debbie Downers”

To be surrounded by the "Debbie Downers" or to accidentally bump into them has the potential to rob you of your joy. But, even though they arouse negative emotions in you, you should not allow yourself to be drawn into their pool of negativity. You need to know who you are. You have to construct yourself for yourself. And you have to have faith in your construction.

If you lack a sense of identity, the vitriol of the "Debbie Downers" can sink your spirit, drowning it. You should never, ever let this happen!

Instead of running the risk of exhibiting any of the qualities of the "Debbie Downers", walk away to continue to build up yourself in the presence of the one, the few, or the many people who "get" you, and who are willing to give you the space to be.

You need to continue to believe in yourself, to have confidence in your abilities, because if you do not, every aspect of your life will suffer, all because you make space in your world for the "Debbie Downers"!

Repel every effort of the "Debbie Downers" to ruin you. Do not let them steal your joy!

What have you been doing to maintain your mental health during this COVID-19 crisis? 

Leave a comment below.

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About the Author

Janette B. Fuller is a teacher and author of three books. Her business is to write stories set in the place she knows best – Jamaica – while also helping writers to write their own stories. When you are ready to write your story, make contact with her @ writingwisdomtree@gmail.com. Check out her books here















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