At one point, you were a happy, confident, optimistic human being. You volunteered for extra projects at the office. You offered favors to friends. You went out of your way to plan happy hours, do community service projects, and practically vomit compliments at innocent passersby on the street.
You were a royal gem. You made a point to brighten the day of everyone else around you, for no other reason than that wrap-your-arms-around-yourself feeling.
And for no apparent reason, one day that all stopped.
You stopped planning happy hours. You stopped sending gifs at work. You can’t remember the last time you baked muffins for coworkers or emailed your grandparents. You stopped putting your small, personal touch on everything around you. Why should you? I mean, no other coworkers baked holiday cookies this year, so why would should you? And you were always the one planning Sunday brunch; can’t someone else plan one for a change? And why are you playing Atlas over here, carrying the weight of the world’s happiness on your shoulders? Everyone is sucking the very enjoyment of life out with a straw.
Do not let the negativity of those around you transform you into a negative person.
This is not who you are.
I get sucked into this vicious cycle all the time. I allow people to convince me life should be work-work-work, all seriousness, level-twelve intensity, one hundred percent of the time. But what good does that do?
Let me explain one thing: The world needs more people like you. Not the grumpy, do-I-have-to-do-everything hostile holdout you’ve become—the real you. We need you to rip inappropriate jokes while the rest of us bitter assholes complain about income taxes. We need you to be immature and remind us life should be fun. We need you to find the best out of any situation.
You felt like you were the only person spitting rainbows of sunshine, and you were right. Now do us all a favor and get back to that.
There are far more negative people in the world than there are positive people. It is your job, Mr. or Mrs. Happy Person, to build a Berlin Wall between you and the worldwide pessimistic population. I do not care how many times that prick in accounting tells you to grow up. Keep being your obnoxiously gleeful self. Smile when your soul-sucking boss tells you there is nothing to smile about. Say, “I’m having a GREAT day,” in the most sickeningly-optimistic manner you can muster (it is oh, so satisfying).
Just because someone wants to crush their own soul, does not give them the power to crush yours.
You may be a smiling ray of sunshine on the exterior, but do not underestimate that inner badass buried underneath. That inner badass is far stronger and more resilient than the force of negativity fighting to weigh you down.
When people are miserable, they want people to be miserable along with them. They will sneer at your inability to stop smiling and call you immature. This is just their inner defense mechanism trying to protect them from their own unhappy life. Do not give them the satisfaction.
Stay your course.
Stay centered in your determination. Do not get distracted or swayed by the pulls of negativity around you. Try as they might, you are not about to transform into the negative person everyone else allowed themselves to become. To you, that negativity is just noise. Just keep following that yellow brick road of blissful naiveté (or so they say).
You made the decision long ago to be the person that brightened everyone’s day. No matter who or what tries to bind you from that decision, stay your course.