And along comes Debbie Downer...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Have you seen the Debbie Downer skits on SNL?
They're hilarious.

What's not so hilarious is that we all probably have a Debbie Downer in our life.
That person who seems to think the world is against them... that complaining about anything and everything is in vogue.

And you know what? It's really easy to join in and just complain.
In fact, it's a lot easier than being positive.
It's a fight to be optimistic!
Have you noticed?

In my life as a student, I've noticed it's an easy mindset for students to get into. We're all so busy. We have tons of homework, work on the side, family life, commuting. It's a lot for anyone to handle. But when there's constant complaining about it, it brings everyone down.

From a student's perspective, I think the main issue is that we just don't realize how privileged we are.
I, for one, don't want to take it for granted for a single second that I am privileged to attend school right now and to use my degree to not only help lots of people, but to have a stable income.
I don't want to take it for granted that if I were a woman living in certain countries, education would not be an option for me.
I don't want to take it for granted that my husband works really hard every day to support our family.
I don't want to take it for granted that I've never missed a meal because I couldn't afford food.
And the list goes on... and on... and on....

So here's my challenge, for you and for me. The next time you hear a conversation that breeds negativity and complaints, fight for joy.

When that person says, "I'm just so tired from all this homework... I wish my husband would just pitch in with the kids... and if it snows one more time, I don't know what I'm going to do..." respond with positivity. Say something like, "Won't it be so worth it though? When you're able to practice as a nurse in such a short time, won't you be so thankful you made it through?"

You'll probably feel really awkward standing up for optimism the first few times.
But I have a feeling, once they get the idea that you're not going to continually commiserate with them about all of life's woes, they'll find someone else to whine to.

Ok... stepping off my soap box now... :)

Happy Wednesday!


  1. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I am in the same college-student, busy-every-day, boat that you are in. But, I am the person sometimes who complains about how busy I am and how it seems like my to-do list is never ending.

    But, you've helped me realize that I'm not doing the impossible here, I'm just looking at it from the wrong perspective. For the rest of the week, I will try to look at the life I'm living through a joyful pair of eyes :)

  2. Great word, Whit! I want to be the one known for the POSITIVE responses. And there's a time to be silent . . .

  3. Sometimes people just need an outlet and someone to listen to them. It doesn't mean they are taking things for granted, life can sometimes be difficult and people just need to know others care. We shouldn't see others as complaining or whining to us as much as take these conversations as an opportunity to express love and support.

  4. Anonymous (if you come back to read this),
    I totally get what you're saying. That's just not what I'm talking about. Of COURSE I think we need to show compassion to those who really need it. But I'm talking about those who constantly complain about things that we all experience - and I don't think we're supposed to join in with that, even though it's the easy thing to do. I hope you hear my heart.

  5. I love this... and I agree. There are those people who just never are happy, no matter what. There is truth to "misery loves company" and "a smile is contagious" or they wouldn't be something that is said.

  6. Thanks for posting this. I always need reminding to be joyful in all circumstances. There is an incredible book you've got to pick up on this topic called, "choosing gratitude." You will not regret making the time to read it!

  7. sweet whitney, i hear that heart. i tend to err on the complaining too much about what ails us all, i'm inside out, so it's easy for me to just say whatever it is i'm thinking! but He is faithful and He is growing me.

    loved this quote from my recent bible study. "if we pour out our complaints to others we'll be labeled a complainer, if we pour out our complaint to God we'll find help." praying He writes this truth on my heart and out through my actions. thankful for a our God who can handle the messy, ugly truth of us.

    and fyi, i saw the title and thought you were referencing you coming as debbie downer! which surprised me because you are always "polly positive" if anyone could get a debbie downer pass it's you, however appreciate the reminder and example it's better to not take it!

  8. This is so so true- especially among the nursing school set, sorry to say. :) At least that's what I've found through my nursing experience- and it's a constant struggle to stay positive. Good for you for recognizing it early on!


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