Here’s a funny fact:
Some people bring you down.
It’s funny because I still struggle with this. I want everyone to like me, so I have a hard time to say no. But I’ve learned that you can’t be friends with everybody.
Indeed, there are some people you’re better off without.
I call them party poopers. And they share a few characteristics. Ignore these warning signs at your own peril.
You’re not excited to see them
It starts innocently enough. You don’t even recognise it at first. But before you meet your party poopers, you don’t feel any excitement at all.
If you listen to yourself, you know you don’t want to see them. But since you’ve already made a promise (and because you struggle to find a way to say no), you go anyway. Either you do that or you come up with a bullshit excuse. Neither option is particularly attractive, and you don’t feel any better about yourself.
Not being excited about seeing someone is the first warning sign that you’re hanging out with a party pooper.
They don’t listen to you
This is the most frustrating part. You try to tell them about something, but they refuse to listen.
Instead they go on and on, talking about themselves and you get no chance to share your life with them. A part of you wants to scream in their ear and tell them to listen: “Hey! I’m here too! Am I invisible to you?” After all, you do have a lot of exciting news to share.
This one-sided conversation goes on for a while until you finally decide to go home.
They don’t care about you
Overall, you start to think they don’t care about you. They pretend to care about you, which is worse because you know it’s fake. They forget to congratulate you on your birthday (“I’m so sorry, I forgot”) and they never give you a spontaneous phone call or text, like they used to.
But what’s really bad about the party poopers is that they make you doubt yourself. “What’s wrong with me?” you ask yourself at night. Nothing is wrong with you except the fact you’re hanging out with a party pooper.
There’s no real friendship there because the party pooper doesn’t help you become the awesome person that you can be.
They’re not happy for you
When you tell them about your new job, or lover, or that you got into college, they manage to feign a smile. It clearly states I’m so happy for you. But deep down, you know they’re not. If anything, they’re jealous about your success.
Party poopers want to see you fail. They want to see you miserable because then they feel good about themselves. Their happiness is determined by other people’s misery.
So, things are going well for you. Well, the party pooper has a secret weapon to change that. It’s the poisonous dagger most people would call thoughtless and ruthless criticism.
They love to criticise you
They love to criticise everything about you. The way you talk and dress. Your new haircut. And since they’re your friends, they know some stuff about you that you… well, you know, only tell your friends. And so they love to make you feel miserable.
You feel like they cut you open and criticise each part of you. So, what do you do? You stop being yourself. Instead you start acting like this other person, because you want this party pooper to really like you. It’s funny because you don’t know why you feel that way.
You secretly begin to despise yourself for it. You know this is wrong. This isn’t who you are.
When you try to confront them about it, they laugh and say something like: “I don’t mean anything. We’re just trying to have some fun. Gosh, don’t take yourself so seriously”.
Of course, it means something. Of course, they’re being cruel. This is not funny because you don’t find it amusing at all. You’re hurt and upset and angry and frustrated and you feel like you’re about to burst. In your frustration, you forget to listen to this voice that gently tells you to go away.
Instead you decide to do the same thing back to them. You throw out nasty comments as if they were grenades, carefully hitting each target. You feed off their insecurities and bathe in their failures.
They make you feel like shit
But it doesn’t make you feel any better about yourself. You don’t feel empowered; you feel helpless and lonely. Not to mention awful.
This is when you hear that voice again. That voice inside your head that tells you to leave.
And you finally decide to act on it. You leave the party pooper alone in the corner, and hop off to the dance floor, where you belong.
Over to you
How do you deal with the party poopers? And more important, how do you stop yourself from becoming one? Please share your thoughts in the comments.