“You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy.” —Julia Child, 1912-2004, Chef, Author and Television Personality
What is your primary intention with others – to share uplifting, caring energy, or to get sympathy?
When you are complaining, whining, and being generally gloomy with others, what do you want? Are you trying to connect with them through getting their sympathy? Are you trying to fill some inner emptiness through getting them to feel sorry for you? Have you been programmed to believe that the only way to connect is to share misery and complaints? Do you compete for having the worst complaints – the worst illness, the worst rejections, the worst unfairness, the worst day? Do you ever think to yourself when hearing another’s complaint, “Big deal, that’s nothing. Wait until you hear what I’m going through.”
You might want to take a moment right now and take an honest look inside to see what your hope is in being gloomy rather than cheerful. What are you not giving to yourself that you want from others? Are you ignoring your own feelings, and then hoping someone else will give you the attention and caring you want? Are you avoiding taking responsibility for the choices you make that lead to you feeling badly? What is your investment in seeing yourself as a victim? Do you believe that getting momentary sympathy from another is what will make you feel okay about yourself?
Being Caring and Inspiring
Imagine what might happen in your life if you “never allowed yourself to say anything gloomy,” as Julia Child suggests.
In order to do this, you need to give yourself the caring and compassion that you keep trying to get from others with your complaining, gloomy behavior. Just acting cheerful, when you really feel awful inside, isn’t going to do much for you or for your relationships. Most people can easily pick up inauthentic behavior, so a superficial Pollyanna attitude is not going to be well received.
The real issue here is whether you are loving yourself or abandoning yourself. When you abandon yourself – by judging yourself, ignoring your feelings, turning to various addictions to avoid your feelings, and making others responsible for your feelings of worth and lovability – you will feel gloomy. While it’s easy to believe that your misery is due to something external – finances, relationships, unmet expectations – much of the time these feelings are coming from your own self-abandonment. If you are abandoning yourself and then acting cheerful, it is likely that the intent of your cheerfulness is the same as the intent of your complaining – to get something from someone else to make you feel better.
To be truly caring and inspiring to others, you need to be genuinely peaceful inside, and this comes only from taking loving care of yourself – of your emotions, your physical wellbeing, your spiritual wellbeing, your financial wellbeing, and your sense of integrity.
In order to never allow yourself to say anything gloomy to others, you first have to stop indulging yourself in saying gloomy things to yourself, which means that you need to become aware of the overt and subtle ways you scare yourself and judge yourself from your programmed ego wounded self. As long as you indulge yourself in thinking scary and judgmental thoughts, you will be creating your own misery, which you then may dump onto others with your whining and complaining.
Imagine how wonderful our relationships and our world would be if all of us took responsibility for our own feelings instead of making others responsible.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!