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Cheering up others is good…but…

Cheering up others is good...but...

Cheering up others is good…but…

There is a fine line that crosses between cheering others up and annoying them.

Wanting to say positive things in general is a noble sentiment, and sharing wisdom to everyone in general can be useful to others. But in individual situations, we should be discreet and handle every situation as it calls for.

If we are close to someone, we can try to cheer them up when they are down or we can let them know that we are there for them when they need us. If we are not close to them, we can still be thoughtful, but we should be restrained in how we behave towards them. We should be a personal friend to others only when they need us to be.  

If the person is a close friend, or a loving relative or even an acquaintance or a fellow employee at work who asks us for support, then perhaps we can encourage them to cheer up, think positive and give some practical, uplifting advice that we can think of. However, it can be very annoying when we act all angel-like with a holier-than-thou attitude and tell someone to smile just because we are in a good mood, when they might be in a bad or sad mood, or perhaps they simply may not want our intrusions! We have to learn to restrain our bubbling joy with regard to people not close to us.

When we are in a good mood, we feel upbeat. We may have a reason to be happy and celebrate. That’s great. But that does not mean that we should force our moods and feelings on others that we encounter when they seem serious and quiet. They might have received some bad news, or afflicted by an illness that came upon them or their loved ones, or lost a lot of money, or had a car accident. Perhaps their boss was mean to them, or some co-workers were giving them grief. Perhaps their parents and siblings were not understanding. Perhaps a person they loved very much broke their heart. Whatever. And when they are going through things like this, to have someone walking by them exclaiming, “Smile! Be cheerful!” is totally unacceptable and irritating. Being understanding is sometimes letting others quietly deal with their thoughts and emotions. 

What is even more annoying is some people always ending their personal notes or email messages with expressions like “Keep on smiling!”. They may mean well, but they don’t have to be evangelical. To them I would like to say, “Let’s see how you smile when something bad happens to you and you feel miserable”. I have a feeling these people in reality are the ones who will be mostly frowning!

The bottom line is the top line : there is a fine line between cheering someone up and annoying them. People already have challenges. Let’s not annoy them even more!

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