She asked about one of my friends and I shared honestly with her that I was having a hard time mustering any real interest in my friendship with “Micki.”
Years ago, Micki and I were really close friends. I could count on her to have my back, to make me laugh, and just be there anytime I needed her. I did the same for her. I could tell you the day, a few years ago, when everything changed. Micki started spending a lot of time with someone who was very negative and just not pleasant to be around. The more time Micki spent around this woman, the more she became like her until now she is just like her – negative and not pleasant to be around.
For old time’s sake, I continue to see Micki once in a while, but every time I do, I feel like someone has sucked all the happiness right out of me. It takes a lot of effort on my part to muster my defenses and try to keep up my own happy outlook after I’ve been around Micki.
I was lamenting to my MIL that it just doesn’t seem worth it. If Micki had a true crisis and needed me, I’d be there. But for the regular day-to-day kind of interactions, I’m to the point where I dread seeing her.
Relationships shouldn’t be like that.
My MIL reminded me of that fact – and of the fact that we get to choose who we spend our time with. Life is too, too short to be around people who suck up our happiness and try to fill the space with their negativity.
That is why I loved this little saying. We all deserve to surround ourselves with people who make us happy, bring us joy, offer encouragement and lift us up.
And – we all have the responsibility to pour that happiness back out on others.
Each Monday I share my thoughts on happiness in my own personal Happiness Project for 2014. Feel free to post your thoughts or comments on happiness.