It’s true. I remember being a happy go lucky guy during my youth, that’s not to say there was no anger or sadness in my life. There certainly was some bad times but there was a way about me, and void of troubles, I smiled and had a tune going through my mind at all times. This continued on through my young adulthood.

Happiness seems to be a cause of contention to some people. The act of being happy, I have found, can cause another unhappy co-worker to express negative sentiment. Throughout the years, I have witnessed co-workers make derogitory comments to people whose only fault was, bring in a good mood. I remember a supervisor who, let me be blunt, had a dislike for her male co-workers but was really pleasant to her female co-workers. The women she supervised could do no wrong and I could do no right. I worked harder to try to impress my supervisor, I attempted to be an exemplary employee to no avail. Even her co-workers noticed how I was singled out. Throughout my early working career, I worked hard because I wanted to succeed. It was amazing to see how some coworkers attitudes turned negative as I received positive feedback from my hard work.

Even in every day life, the world around you has negative aspects to it. Before my wife and I got married, her mom died. Afterwards, we met with the rest of the family to discuss purchasing the family home. Since we were not married yet, my wife worked with her family to get all the paper work done. Everyone who legally had a say in the matter agreed to the terms. After we got married, we put the house in both of our names. The house needed a great deal of work and because of this, we purchased the house from the family for less than market value. We put a great deal of money into fixing up the house. almost 5 years later, we made a decision to sell the house and move closer to her sister. Little did I know 13 years later, the house would be a cause for contention. My sister-in-laws husband accused me of ripping off the family! He stated that after we sold the house, we should have shared the profit with the family. He didn’t consider that we spent a substantial amount of money to fix up the house, nor did they offer to contribute to fixing up the house. I have a feeling part of his negativity/suffering arose from the fact he was facing a similar issue with his family home.

A neighbor got very negative with us when we were fixing up the house. We were getting the roof done and getting new windows installed. She walked by and said negatively “It looks like Brooklyn”. We also had gas brought up to the house and the utility dug up a 3’x3′ section of their lawn by the curb. I would have offered to re-sod it for her but she just wanted to stop by to be negative. We looked to improve our house and the neighborhood!

I’m sure we all have examples of negative aspects in our lives. For a long time I wondered why people were always negative and now I think I can understand why. You come out of your teenage/early adulthood and have an expectation that life is pretty easy. You begin your career and find it was tedious than you thought. You have to pay for a car, an apartment, maybe you get married, have kids, purchase a home, you lose a job, a company closes, the roof leaks, there are bills piling up, you haven’t seen your friends for ages, you wonder what ever happened to your free time. You look around you and see that everyone else is in the same boat as you. You more than likely pick up that they are negative about it and you better damn well know you are feeling the stress of it too. As much as you try to sing a happy tune, eventually the negativity that surrounds us starts weighing us down, especially if you let it.

Especially if you let it….

That’s just the thing, sometimes you have to look at other people, why are they so unhappy? They are suffering! They are letting their stress get to them and it is building a giant ball of negativity that they carry around all day. Do you think that negativity helps them or hurts them? When you are around someone who is negative, doesn’t it start weighing you down? What do you wish for them? To be happy? To be less stressed? Perhaps you wish them to be less negative about their situation? Aha! So now when you find yourself in a similar time in your life, you can practice what you wished they would have.

I’ve been working on becoming that happy go lucky guy again for the past few years and separating myself from the negative aspects in life. You can’t always avoid the negativity but you can work on ways to handle it, while keeping a positive disposition. I was at a supermarket the other day and had a “comedy of errors” at the check out. My positive disposition made me smile, made the cashier smile and I just said to myself:

I just want to be happy!

If I want to be happy, I need to avoid letting the negativity of others affect me. I can certainly understand that people are suffering whether it be someone looking to exert authority, someone who is having a hard time in life, someone unhappy that they did not get rewarded, someone who is facing difficulties with their family or are in a stressful moment in life. We can help them in various ways but it is not going to help if we take a negative approach to it, remain positive.

Just be happy!