The Happiness Smasher
Everyone has this sort of person in their life somewhere. It goes beyond just pessimism. I researched it for a bit, but I could not find a name for the psychological condition that urges an individual to be adverse or raise an argument with absolutely every single thing that they hear. I would not be surprised if there were a name for the behavior however, because not only do I have one of these people in my life, I actually have a few. The best way that I could come up with to describe this sort of personality is by calling this person The Happiness Smasher.
This guy can make me absolutely nuts if I let him. He is the guy who never fails to jump in and throw around depressing factoids, when he notices that you have gotten excited about something. He is always ready to feed you large spoons full of negativity when you take the risk to share your own happiness with the people around you. This guy is usually super intelligent. When I was thinking about his personality, at first I thought that he must have a great need to show off his vast intelligence. For some reason he must be insecure about how smart he is, right? That can’t be it though, because no one is questioning how smart he is, it is obvious. So then why, even when he is agreeing with me, does he feel the need to peacock his intelligence by bringing up more information on the subject that I had failed to mention?
When I focused and really put my thinking cap on my answer to the motivation for my grumpy friend’s behavior was actually rather heart breaking. At the root of it, it isn’t anything intellectual that is causing this individual to be adverse. What is bothering The Happiness Smasher is the positivity and enthusiasm that I am projecting. It bothers him, and it obviously bothers him a lot if he would go to such lengths to squelch my happy excitement at every opportunity. So why is he bothered by other people being energetic and inspired? It must be fear, what is he so afraid of? What bothers us in other people is when we see a reflection of ourselves. So how is my positivity hurting this negative individual, when have I ever seen him acting happy or enthusiastic? I haven’t, but he must have been that way at some point. He must have been that way as a child. Most likely, when he acted that way as a child, there was an unfortunate adult standing at attention, ready to smash his dreams.
He is trying to rescue me from the big bad reality of life, just like his ignorant parent rescued him from big hopes and dreams and ideas as a child. If we are reprimanded over and over again as children for believing in huge wonderful possibilities, we stop believing in them. So my friend, The Dream Smasher, is doing the same thing to me that was done to him as a child. He doesn’t know any better, and he doesn’t have any idea how annoying his behavior is. He is unconsciously trying to prevent me from the disappointment that he believes I am guaranteed to suffer. Now, in my case, I happen to be very close to one of my dream smashers, so I know his background, and his parents, and it is easy for me to understand what happened to him. It does, indeed break my heart. I am glad however, to have a better understanding of where he is coming from. I will use his experience to remind me to never do to my kids what was done to him. I will remember to be compassionate rather than annoyed when he tries to stomp on my determined optimism, and maybe someday I will figure out how to help him rebuild his own smashed dreams.