Bliss Suckers

June 15th 2015

A friend of mine, describing a former employer, said something like this: “That woman just sucks the bliss out of every happy moment. Doesn’t matter what it is. She has a way of seeing the negative in everything – and never fails to express it.”

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It’s no surprise my friend moved on to happier pastures at the first opportunity. Who wants to be around somebody like that?  

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Here are the signs you may be in the presence of a Bliss Sucker:

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  • You ask them how they’re doing and are afraid they’ll answer.
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  • You find yourself going down a different hallway or hiding in the first available cubicle when you see them coming.
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  • You feel your energy drain into your feet when you have to spend any time around them.
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The most important thing to know about Bliss Suckers is this: there is nothing you can do to change them. No one ever changes anyone else’s behavior, except possibly through short-term coercion. Real behavioral change always comes from within. Bliss Suckers are likely to keep doing what they do, because they’re benefitting from their behavior somehow. Could it be they are happy only when those around them absorb and spread their negativity?

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Of course,  it's important to avoid these people when you can. When you can’t, here's a good tactic: feel absurdly free to express your own optimism as strongly as you know how. Internally, refuse to let them steal your happiness. Then run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. Find someone who can appreciate and share your upbeat view of things, and absorb their optimism so you can replenish yours. Don't spend one second worrying about the propriety of cutting a conversation with a Bliss Sucker short. Always be moving – literally and figuratively – toward the positive.

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communication, happiness, professional development

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