Be Careful Not to Commiserate


It never ceases to amaze me how many people love a sad story, whether it's yours or theirs. You are more likely to find people who revel in your failure rather than your success. They will pretend to feel so very bad for you when they assume your boss called you into her office to fire you, but then, get awfully quiet when you tell them you're actually been given a promotion. Some people want to go on-and-on about their bad days, their illnesses and misfortunes, and no matter how uplifting or supportive you may be, no matter how many resolutions you offer, they will offer you that same old song.

This holiday season, as with many, there are just as many sad stories as there are joyous ones. I want you to be sure not to commiserate with people who only want to hear sad stories from you, or those who only want to repeat their sad stories to you. Yes, this is the time to look forward to the future, and this is always the time to cut off people, places, ideas, and ideals of the past. This is the time of year when it should become most evident that commiserating with miserable people only stands to keep you from the blessings and joys waiting for you in 2019 and beyond.

Here's What Needs to Happen:

  • Make a mental list of the people and/or things in your life that make you unhappy

  • Cut them, right now, today –– with the exception of your job, school, and marriage. These things take a bit more strategic planning to shimmy out of

It's really just that simple. So much of our lives is really just a series of decisions and leaving miserable people behind is no different. Decide not to listen to someone's sad story, over and over again. Decide to get up, walk out the room, and never look back. Decide that your friends and family are no longer on your wavelength. Decide that you deserve a new circle of friends. Decide that you will make your own family. Decide to create a self-care bubble before the new year, place yourself directly in the center of it, and don't feel one iota of guilt.

Do not commiserate this holiday season, in the new year and beyond. There is no going back. There is only forward.

Elisabeth Ovesen