Friday, March 10, 2006

Susy Sunshine has a dark side...

And it comes out at bitchiness.  I was at a chat recently and someone thanked me for having a link on my blog to another blog I find totally irksome.  I was stunned...even asked her if she was sure I had such a link.  She said, "Yes."  I checked.  She was wrong.  Thank goodness.  You see, I've got this unwritten policy (now written I guess) against linking to websites that are predominately negative.
I am a proud, card carrying member of the Pollyanna society.  I believe in happy beginnings.  I believe love is more powerful than pain and I find hyper critical, super cynical, ultra snarky people a total drag.  Not entertaining.  Not funny.  Not cutting edge.  Boring.  Who wants to live life inside the skin of someone who makes it their job to see the bad in others and the books they purport to love?
Not me.  Remember, I'm the one who plays the "Glad Game" and thinks it's addictive.  I'm just really glad there are lots of people in my life who are courageous enough to be positive and strong enough not to bow to the current trend toward perpetually nasty sarcasm.  I'm glad that so many people I meet everyday are genuinely nice and appreciate that trait in others.  I'm glad I have places to connect with readers and writers who wear the same lovely tinted glasses I do.
I don't think bitchiness is funny.  I don't think snark at the expense of others is entertainment (though snark a la MaryJanice Davidson in her Betsy books is fantastically funny) and I'm allowed to feel that way.  No one can tell me that I have to like women who sound like they are in perpetual PMS.  Just like I'm not going to tell those women (whom I personally think are obviously low on some necessary vitamins) that they have to like me...or my books...or my attitudes.   Thankfully, we live in a free country and I get to inhabit the sunny corner of it I want to.
I'm a firm believer that there is a big chunk of me in my work.  Which means I also believe the same of reviewers and bloggers and people who post on reader loops and boards.  I look for their hearts in what they write...just as I'm sure you'll find mine in what I do.  There are a lot of people in cyber-land I have no interest in meeting in person, but even more that I *do* want to.  No matter how much snark gets flung like the smelly stuff it is, there are a lot more people that are genuine, nice...who care about others and whom I would be honored to call friend.
That's me, Pollyanna...seeing the good side...for me, this is a happy place to be.


Holly said...

I think it's very commendable to be the Pollyanna type, Lucy.

I can't say I don't suffer from cases of bitchiness now and then, but it's people like you (and several of my very good friends) that remind me that life isn't about the bad...but the good.

I think trying to find happiness in everyday life is much more commendable than pointing out all the unhappiness.

I was listening to a radio program this morning (it's actually one I usually avoid, because I don't agree with the content most of the time) and a gentleman had called in, basically whining about how unfair life was. The woman on the program was telling him that his life wouldn't get better until he learned to appreciate what he had. She said, "Right now you've got Eyeore Syndrom..but what you really need is to have a Tigger Attidude."

So, good for you, Lucy. And thank you for reminding me that it's better to look for the good than the bad.


Lucy Monroe said...

Thank *you*, Holly! One of the phenomena I've noticed is that cynical people often accuse positive people of having too easy a life, but in fact the most positive people I know have been through the roughest times. Go figure! :) But the choice to see life in the best light possible makes a huge difference in how happy we are and how much we enjoy our lives. You can't always change your circumstances (though I'm a big proponent of doing so when you can if you don't like them), but you *can* always change your attitude. :)

Lucy :)

lidia said...

Lucy, I notice that people are more quick to say something negative then to say something positive. I have to wonder why. I know that sometimes I do that also.

For example, since I fly a lot, I have both good and bad experiences with flights, flight attendants, etc... If I get annoyed I will send an email to airline and voice my dismay. However, if the flight attendants were great, I'll think about sending a positive email but in the past didn't always get around to doing it. For the past few weeks I've seen the same flight attendant - she's wonderful. I made a point of sending out an email. If I see her again, I'll send another.

It is very important to stress the positive and not just the negative. I remember many years ago when I was at a conference one of the discussions was about dealing with subordinates especially when having to say some "bad" things. The advice was to always start by saying something positive and then to be sure to listen with empathy.

So Lucy, thinking positively and looking for the good is always better than the alternative.

P.S. I forgot to send you {{{HUGS}}} in my previous post.


Jennifer L hart said...

Only people who are so disappointed in themselves would attack another person for her optimism. My mother was diagnosed with MS before I was born and she suffered as no one else I know. She’d been confined to a wheelchair as far back as I can remember. But she was always upbeat, always smiling. Her nickname was Smiley Kiley and it fit. She died when I was nineteen and it pains me to think about all she has missed. I tend to fall on the other side of the fence and have been ruled by anger and frustration at the injustice of life more times than I care to dwell on, but I would NEVER criticize someone else’s happiness. In fact, I like to contact all you wonderful people out there who have an endless reserve of hope and through you absorb some of that optimism for myself.
Hope I didn’t bring you all down.

Lucy Monroe said... make an excellent point and it's one I've been pondering a lot lately. I've gotten a couple of really negative reader reviews on Amazon and they started with, "While I usually love Lucy Monroe..." Only when I checked the reviews of the reader posting, rarely if ever had they ever posted a postive review of my work. Now, I've got a lot of books in the market, so that just doesn't make any sense to me, except in a world where a person gets more satisfaction from complaining than giving kudos when they are due.

I love filling out comment cards at restaurants and hotels, especially when the service has been good. And your post reminded me that I needed to do that even more. :)

Jen...your point is well taken. I do think it takes something dark in oneself to translate into darkness spewing from one's mouth or fingertips (in the case of online communication). But your post didn't bring me down at're trying your best to change your own attitude by absorbing the positive attitudes of others. I think that's healthy.

And it makes me want to address a comment I made...that you can always change your attitude. That is true to an extent, but depression can rob a person of that ability (or trick them into believing they are robbed, which is every bit as devastating). A WONDERFUL book on thought management is "Feeling Good" by Dr. David Burns. He's a cognitive therapist and his suggestions for battling the thought patterns that feed depression are fantastic!

Maura said...

You're going to make me paranoid, Lucy! LOL

I've had some whiney posts lately on my blog but I think, in general, they're offset by happy ones too. (Course now I'll have to look). I really don't tend to slam people though - I just don't see the point!

Now I have written reviews where I've explained that I didn't care for the book for "x" reason. But I don't slam them. And I generally will try another book by the same author later.

My personal theory of life is sorta two-fold.

1) Today I want to be a better person than I was yesterday.

2) I cannot control the universe or other people, but I can control how I react to them.

I liked that Eyeore vs. Tigger analogy, Holly. I might have to use that....

Holly said...

I liked that analogy, too. I also like your 2nd life theory. That's so true.

Speaking of good reviews....I finally read The Billionaire's Pregnant Mistress. I reviewed it here.

I completely agree with you about positive people having gone through a lot. My best friend is like that. She made some bad choices in the past, but she managed to overcome them. I've never met a more positive, life-loving person. She's my hero.

Stacy~ said...

Oh, Lucy, you've touched on one of my hot buttons. I applaude you for speaking out and standing up for your beliefs. I'm standing right there along with you.

I think part of my problem with it is how it brings out the wolves in packs. I can read 10 blogs or websites around a weeks' time and they are all talking about the exact same thing in the exact same tone yet each proclaiming to be the top bad*ss with only original ideas, and it's really rather depressing. Ganging up on people is not funny, or cool, or productive. It's kinda sad, actually. When people are going on and on about the indignity done to them for such insignificant things, I have to believe that they really must be severely unhappy. I recently read a post from someone who was really bashing a rather beloved author, and seemed to take such joy in it. It was like they were proud to be so mean about someone that a lot of people loved. Sick.

Someone mentioned that the most optimistic people have had the roughest lives and you know what, I know someone kinda like that. One of my dearest friends has a husband who suffered a stroke at the age of 41 - he can't even talk. It's heart-breaking because Michael was an extremely active person, and his condition actually could have been prevented. He will need care for the rest of his life - eating, getting dressed, brushing his teeth. She is the strongest, most amazing woman I know. Her faith in God and her family is incredible, and on top of taking care of him, she's also at the same time taking her best friend (who has cancer) to her chemo as well as visiting this same friend's mother in the hospital, works a full-time job, spending all her time figuring out better ways to take care of her husband's needs and helping out her adult daughter. This woman is a saint and I adore her more than anyone because she shows me what it means to live. Her name is Cynthia and she inspires me every single day. And if she ever feels sorry for herself, you'd never know it. If I had the choice to be like her or like someone with a blog and a serious attitude problem, there is absolutely no contest. And btw, she's not a Pollyanna, but Cynthia doesn't believe in wallowing in self-pity. It's just not who she is. She's got better things to do with her life. I wanna be just like her when I grow up...oops, too late... Well, she loves me anyway.

Okay, sorry to carry on. I feel better now that I've vented, and I promise not to post a week-long blog rant - LOL.

P.S. Maura, I've read your blog over the last several days and I don't think you've come across as nasty or mean at all. Like Holly said, we all have our moments of bitchiness, but that's normal.

Brandy said...

I admire your attitude. I try to stay upbeat, even in those times when life seems to knock me around. (LIFE, not anyone) I want to live my life setting an example for my kids. Love and kindness are the best gifts to give.

Lucy Monroe said...

First, Maura love, everyone has to whine sometimes. But that sure isn't the same thing as being consistently negative and proud of your ability to shred someone or someone's work with your sarcasm. *You* are too darn nice for that!

Holly...thanks for the super cool review! Made my night!!!

Stacy...obviously, it's a hot button for me too. Your friend Cynthia sounds like my kind of person. And I applaud her too!

Brandy...I love your goal of living your life as a good example to your kids. I feel the same way and it's made me choose things that were sometimes harder, but I don't regret any of those choices!

Huge hugs to all!

Holly said...

Wow, Stacy, that's amazing. Doesn't it humble you when you're around someone like that? And not in a bad way, either. It just makes us realize that for all of our little drama's in our life, it could be worse...and we could react better to it. Major Kudos to your friend!