Last year was, to put it bluntly, spectacularly awful for me. While 2010 hasn’t been perfect, I’ve found myself in a good place more often than not. Thousands of dollars in counseling and therapy can do that for a person, I guess.
As a lifestyle blogger, I chronicled a good portion of the suckage that was 2009 and I was very fortunate to receive a ton of support from the Internet. However, as life has improved over the past several months, I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern: I have less to say and less desire to say it when I’m happy.
Bad news, it seems, is easier to share than good news.
A mental scan of conversations with other people reveals that this is a common phenomenon that goes beyond blogging. My phone conversations with my mother are much longer if I’ve had a bad day. My chats with co-workers are brief when they’re upbeat. When I worked in a corporate office environment, work could not begin until everyone shared at least one complaint. It was very rare for someone to come to a morning meeting with a smile on their face and cheerful reports. And the one guy that did? Was annoying. To everyone.
Why do we do this? Why do so many of us keep our bliss to ourselves, but openly share our stresses?
I know that when there is negativity in my life, it can feel like it is literally inside of me - and sharing helps to physically get those yucky vibes out. When I’m feeling good, there isn’t a toxic feeling I need to purge.
I also tend to resist oversharing good news because I assume that no one wants to hear the positive stuff. I mean, no one likes a braggart, right? Who wants to listen to someone go on and on and on about how happy they are?
Except… I do. Some of my favorite people in this world are people who are constantly talking about how happy they are. It seems like the people I enjoy most seek out reasons to feel successful, and hearing about their little wins always brightens my day.
Perhaps the world could use a little more good news, even if it’s mine. I’d like to make a point of being a positive presence in my workplace and social circles. I want to invest just as much energy sharing the happy as I do sharing the sad - if not more energy.
Are you remembering to invest as much time, energy and conversation into the good as you do with the bad? Next time you’re at the water cooler, tell your co-worker about that really great thing your kids of spouse did. Share your most recent success in the comments. If you’re on twitter, take a moment to share #1goodthing about your day. Share the happy!
Photo of my grandfather on his 80th birthday.