Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Emotional Drains

Violet wrote a post yesterday that hit very close to home regarding a person in her life that is very draining. I believe her exact words were, "suck everything I have and bring nothing to the table."

I know exactly what she means.

I've written before about my aversion to the "women" parties that are ostensibly to sell something (Pampered Chef, Silpada Jewelry, sex toys, etc.), but almost immediately turn into husband/men bashing events.

A woman who sits next to me at the office started complaining about something that happened and I felt the pull to start bitching about this place along with her.

It's human nature, I think, that misery loves company. And it is my nature to allow myself to get drawn into the negativity and add to it. Luckily for me, I feel it happen and remove myself from the conversation as soon as possible. But since misery does love company, comments about the good things are generally unwelcome.

There is a straw that has finally broken this particular camel's back. I have a work acquaintance who is completely exhausting. Because of proximity, I get the blow-by-excruciating-blow of every single bad thing that has happened to him, his friends, and his family. Seriously, to hear him tell it, absolutely not one good thing has ever happened to him over the past year and a half or so since he came to my team.

This person is perfectly nice, but I find myself avoiding going anywhere near his desk (which is a problem as he is part of my team after all) because I simply feel frustrated and emotionally drained by the constant litany of his issues and no desire to hear advice.

I'm going to let go. I have enough on my plate that I simply cannot take on someone else's problems no matter how terrible and tragic they may be. Especially when this person is not my friend and never has anything positive or upbeat to add to the conversation.

Don't get me wrong. I am totally committed and there for my friends. My friends and I have shared our ups and downs and been there for one another during times of stress and happiness. We take when we need to take, we give when we need to give, and we tell each other to "Snap the hell out of it!" when we go overboard with the whining or destructive behavior.

I just have no more room in my life for people who only complain.

When I get back from Mexico, I'm sending the work acquaintance a link to buy Dr. Laura's book, Stop Whining, Start Living. And I might just buy it for myself, too.

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