Recently I stumbled across an idiom that I’ve seen often, but today I really looked at it differently. It comes in many forms, but is essentially: “If someone gets you down, get away from them, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.”
And I have to call bullshit… with a caveat.
First, the caveat – if you are being manipulated/harassed, obviously that’s a situation you should get out of, and it’s also a situation that is really hard for you to admit to yourself, thus this idiom being circulated.
But there’s a more common situation that this idiom can relate to: a friend who has trouble keeping a positive attitude. Do they get you down when you talk to them? Sometimes. But so can any friend if they’re having a bad day – the whole point of friendship is to support your friends as you can, when you can, and to take the good days with the bad. We all have our own cycles of emotions, some are just more deeply sinusoidal than others.
In the hypothetical situation where you push away any friend who is too negative, what kind of friend does that make you? Maybe your negative-trending friend has anxiety, or depression, and you pushing them away only reinforces their negative feelings about themselves. I would never want to do that to a friend who has been nothing other than good and kind to me. I would much rather respect and trust my friends—I would rather act with compassion.
I guess the point of this little ramble is to just be kind to people. Support your friends if you have the strength. Hopefully, if you are ever the friend in need, your friends will be able to be there for you.
And be mindful that sometimes people have bad days, and sometimes others wonder when their next good days will ever come.
Help them have a good day. In my experience, it’s totally worth it.
Thanks for reading <3