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Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': The Mood Wrecker


Dawn Watson | CNBNewsnet


  Sad-old-lady-sit-stone-illustration-54389989GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ—  Everybody knows one: that friend or relative that can bring a mood down faster than you can say, “Debbie Downer”.

   I’m not talking about the person suffering from depression or a temporary mental conflict. I’m talking about an individual that sees danger at every corner, death with every sneeze; one who makes a road trip to Atlantic City sound like bad news from your oncologist.

   My mother, bless her heart was one such person. “I’m going to the store,” would be answered with a nervous look at the clock and the shake of the head. “What?” I would ask. “Traffic,” she’d reply. “Better wait a bit. You never know…”

   A friend of mine left me a voice message the other day, saying, “Just checking in to see how you’re doing. Talk to you later.” I was working so I called him back when I was finished. “Hey, I got your message,” I told him.

   “That was three hours ago,” he said. “So never mind.”

   I guess my priorities were wrong.

   I remember going out to an Italian restaurant and ordering something daring. The colleague with whom I was dining looked at the plate when it arrived and said, “Ugh. That’s disgusting. You won’t like it.”

   I had the waiter wrap it up so I could enjoy it at home without the side comments.

   “Beautiful sunny day!” I said to a neighbor, who responded by saying, “Skin cancer.”

   “I lost ten pounds!” I bragged to a cashier at the dollar store. “Better see a doctor,” came the terse response.

   Speaking of stores, have you ever gone into a clothing store and had a clerk say, “The larger sizes are in the back,” without even considering how that could ruin someone’s day?  So much for customer service.

   When my husband developed a cough, a former friend remarked ominously, “You know what that means!”  When pressed to elaborate she just shook her head sadly. End of friendship.

   Being fond of slap-stick comedy I’ve often thought the cure for this malady would come in the form of an air horn.

   Say something negative and the mood wrecker gets a blast. And after a few toots there would be no doubt about the reason for it.

   Of course, you might not want to apply this remedy to your minister as he is preaching about the wages of sin on a Sunday morning, but other than that I think it’s a pretty good idea.

   “You look sick.” BLAP!

   “It’s going to rain the day of the festival.” BLAP!

   You get the picture.

   I guess it’s more reasonable (although not as much fun) to address the problem when it occurs. Let the individual know that you’d like to keep positive energy flowing, that you don’t accept negativity, that you’d prefer not to think on those terms. Gently remind him or her that nothing lasts forever and everything is subject to change. Perhaps in time, you can coax that individual to have a brighter outlook on life.

   But when all else fails…

Just Sayin’,

Dawn Watson