Have you ever come across a person so sullen that you don’t think it is physically impossible for them to smile or laugh? Every interaction you have with that person is tenuous at best and horribly unpleasant at worst. Every interaction you observe between that person and another is equally poor. No matter how well you or anyone else treats them, they are always unhappy. In their unhappiness, they try to drag you into their dystopian world, but don’t take the bait. Don’ let their unhappiness define your happiness or lack thereof.
In life you have a choice, you can radiate bitterness and unhappiness as characterized above or you can be the antithesis to the negative Nelly. I’m not suggesting by any means that you become a Pollyanna, but rather that you don’t allow the negative Nellys in your life to define the way you see the world. Dealing with people that are consistently negative is difficult and taxing by radiating positive vibes you can counter the negative. So don’t be a Pollyana; be the anti-negative Nelly. Be the person that takes time to compliment someone on their outfit or their hair or hold the door for someone at the coffee shop. Be the person that chooses to radiate kindness, generosity and goodness. Small gestures of kindness go a long way in counteracting the meanness and negativity of those who choose to be miserable.
Long before I was reading Les Miserables, I was reading Roald Dahl and Judy Blume. What kid growing up in the 1980s didn’t read Super Fudge or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Roald Dahl wrote that “If you have beautiful thoughts they will shine out of your face like a sunbeam and you will always look lovely.” Nothing makes someone uglier than a mean spirit or a negative or hateful constitution. The choice is yours. What will you radiate?