Sometimes the best thing to do is NOT be there
picture of a yellow bmw mini

Since we started the #100happydays challenge on our Instagram today, it got me thinking: how can I truly make an effort to be more positive everyday?

What I’ve discovered after only a few hours is that it is indeed a challenge, especially if some people in our lives aren’t quite ready to practice positivity. Or just aren’t accustomed to positive thoughts whatsoever.

Almost immediately after I decided to sign up for the challenge, I received not one, not two, but THREE text messages from three different friends saying something negative about their days yesterday. They ranged from, “my life is DRAMA” to “how was your day? I had THE WORST.”

Suddenly, I had a flashback to a few days earlier when I lent an ear to another friend going through a tough time (though, honestly, he seems to always be going through a tough time). Upon hanging up and letting out a *sigh* my partner said, be careful of how much you listen to your friends venting, Liz. That negative stuff can creep into your head even if you think it’s not. I thought about it for a second and, in true Taurean fashion, immediately dismissed him. I can handle it, I said, I’ve been friends with him for years. I know how he can get.

After this morning, though, I have to admit my partner was onto something. When the text messages came barreling in this morning – in paragraph form, no less – I realized I couldn’t keep up with all the various forms of mania and anxiety coming my way. There I was trying to maintain my inner peace and manage my own anxiety, when my eyes and ears became receptacles for unsolicited drama and anger. My heart beat picked up and immediately turned off my phone.

Call me a bad friend, perhaps, but what if not being there was exactly what I needed to do? Showing someone you care can come in so many different forms, tough love being one of them. If I was committed to my own happiness, I knew I’d have to cut off the craziness at some point, especially if it wasn’t my own.

At the end of the day, I am the only one I am obligated to cheer up, and sometimes that’s hard enough considering I suffer from bouts of depression. Maybe my friends would realize they aren’t the only ones going through something and consider they are the key to their own happiness, I thought. I will only be around for so long, but they’ll have to live with themselves forever!

I can only hope that my act of self-love and subsequent tough love will hold some emotional resonance. Only time will tell.

Written by Liz Imler
As our Community Manager, Liz focuses on The Caregiver Space's daily online happenings. She also works behind the scenes, fixing bugs and making sure the site delivers our members a clean and seamless community experience. Before coming onto The Caregiver Space, Liz served as a Community Manager in the health and finance industries. She holds an MA from New York University and a BA from George Mason University, and splits her time between Virginia and New York. Her passions include writing, music, and travel.

Related Articles

Monster-in-Residency

Monster-in-Residency

When Carolita Johnson became a live-in caretaker for her 87-year-old mother, reimagining this new life as a multi-year writing residency helped her...

Being a Human Being

Being a Human Being

"Many of us are programmed to take action. We want to fix. We want to solve. And we take pride in fixing and solving. But sometimes there is nothing...

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.