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.

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