I Rebuke Thee, Debbie Downer

I have yet to meet or hear of a person with no problems.

Whether you’re brilliant or academically challenged, wealthy or counting your pennies to buy your next meal, gorgeous or possess a face that only radio could love, none of us came into this world with the guarantee that life would dish out what we want when we want and that it would be perfect.

Each of us has different ways of coping. It might help to mope a bit. Getting angry and shouting at the world works for some. A stiff drink of rum punch (my own personal experiment) has been known to do the trick. Chocolate, in its many forms, wards off doom and gloom. Confiding in a trusted friend may provide a temporary healing. Thing is, eventually, most of us make peace with our problems because we know that if we stay focused on them, we will die from the toxicity!

That said, why, why do some people love talking about their problems so much? Ever notice how if you don’t react with the appropriate level of sympathy, the worse offenders switch gears and try to embellish their unfolding monologue with an even greater sense of despair and foreboding? And they’ll talk to anybody! This happens in waiting rooms, lines at the bank, in front of the freezing meat section at the grocery.

woe is me

Random Debbie Downers are bad enough. Debbie Downers in one’s inner circle is another beast altogether. I know you know what I’m talking about. When you see their names come up on your phone you cringe. Visibly. You know that they’re never going to listen to your wise counsel and that the one-sided conversation will make you want to smash your phone against the wall. They seem to thrive on the telling and retelling of their woes. The drama never ends with them; it merely escalates till it goes BOOM and the cycle starts all over again. Like a really bad soap opera…are there any good soap operas?? Do soap operas still exist?? I digress…

Hey, I have my own issues. I’m not saying that I’m not here for you, a shoulder to cry on (occasionally) when life comes at you hard, but man, you can’t keep bringing me down moaning about allllll these problems you got. I prefer to wake up every day determined to put a smile on my face and appreciate my life. I don’t need you dragging me into the cesspool of your negativity and inertia.

So when I say “STOP! I don’t want to hear any more unless you plan to actually DO something about [insert problem here]” know that I say it in love (or annoyance and disgust, but mostly love).

How do you cope with the Debbie Downers in your life?Save

17 thoughts on “I Rebuke Thee, Debbie Downer

  1. I have had to tell friends, “I’m sorry, I’m not the audience for this concern right now.” Sometimes I follow it up with an explanation of what’s going on with me that keeps me from having the emotional/mental resources to deal with whatever petty bullshit they’re whining about, sometimes I just leave it at that. Anyone who feels that I should always be a captive audience for whatever drama they’re putting on is a friend I’m looking to ditch.

    That goes for good news or bad, by the way… respecting my time and boundaries is kind of a big deal.

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  2. Why have a Debbie Downer in your life? If all they ever do is dump on you but never share the good or talk about you, then they are just using you. Friends are about give and take, but it’s supposed to be mutual not you giving and the other taking all the time.

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    1. I find it’s easier to get rid of the Downers in my inner circle. Dealing with a Downer on a monthly committee or at work every day is a bit tougher. Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog!

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  3. My other comment was much richer in content, of this I am most certain…even if it did missappear (not a word, but my toddler once used it back in the day so I kept it). Toxic people is where I find this post; the sort where you find the mobile phone stuck on shh and roads being crossed to avoid the opening gambit of “How are you today?” lest it finds an hour of life gone in a diatribe of woe is me that sounds remarkably like catch up TV and a program you’ve watched already. Not that I mean to be harsh; everyone also needs to be listened to at some point,.. although I believe you refer to me, me, me types in this rather articulate go away post 🙂

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    1. The other comment was “richer” than this sublime one? I feel as if I’ve missed out on literary greatness (damn you, WordPress) :-)! Yes, we all need a shoulder to cry on from time to time but nobody deserves to be sentenced to a lifetime of listening to another person’s problems especially when those problems are the ones they refuse to fix because they enjoy talking about them so much. And yes, I dread mistakenly asking such folks “How are you?”…

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  4. To tell you the truth, I shut down in about 2 minutes after listening to Debbie Downers. Just like Ritu mention I also go into a nodding mode and glaze over. I know that a friend is someone you count on when you are feeling down but I don’t like to be dragged down either.

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  5. Well. On the occasion of a relatively-recent birthday, I decided that life was just too short to have Debbie Downers in my life. So I got rid of them. I highly recommend doing this. I’ve never felt better!!!

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    1. How recent a birthday? Are you a Pisces too? Happy belated birthday! And yes, we have to eliminate these folks or else they will suck the happy right out of a life.

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