This is a guest blog by Lindsay Thornton: Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve felt on top of the world and full of positivity and then suddenly, BANG! You’ve come crashing back down to earth because those around you have radiated so much negativity that it’s left you feeling drained? This kind of negative behaviour from others can really suck the life out of everyone around them. Their doom and gloom approach to life can really weigh others down. I’d like to introduce you to what is otherwise known as, a Mood Hoover.
What Is A Mood Hoover?
To give mood hoovers an accurate description, they are people who suck the energy, life, and positivity out of a person and replace it with their own negativity Mood Hoovers are those people that bitch and moan about every little thing. They love to consistently put you down, hurt your feelings – intentionally. Sometimes they even revel in making you miserable, especially when something is going well for you.
We’ve all more than likely come across a Mood Hoover at some point in our life. And the chances are that some people reading this right now are smiling, because you know one. Mood Hoovers thrive on gossip. Love to revel in other people’s misfortune. They are quick to put a negative spin on something positive someone has shared. But above all, they just simply like to complain about anything or everything to anyone who is willing to listen.
So how do we know when to flip the ‘off’ switch and say enough is enough? How do we stop allowing a Mood Hoover’s opinions and targeted words aimed to make us miserable, affect how we live our own lives?
“Sometimes the hardest pill to swallow comes from a prescription you created.”— Unknown
I’ve met many mood hoovers in my time
For years, before I gained enough knowledge around the subject, I would find myself walking away from conversations and feeling completely drained by them. Like the life had been literally sucked out of me, hence the term, ‘Mood Hoover.’
We’re all entitled to an off day, that’s completely normal. But on a regular basis it can be completely draining and start to affect your own energy levels. If you find yourself in a mood hoovering situation, whether that is in the office or at work, with friends or even family, here’s my quick guide to learn when to hit that ‘Off’ switch. Take back control and give the mood hoovering a rest.
1. Be In Control
We all have that limit to how long we can listen to negativity before it starts to influence our own energy. Be in control by switching up the conversation if it gets too negative. Try changing the subject to something more light hearted. If negativity continues, show empathy without feeding the fire.
2. Listen To Your Body & Breath
When you find yourself in a situation and the mood begins to fall notice how your body reacts to this. Listen to your breathing. Take notice of any tension areas that begin to feel irritated. Acknowledge why you feel this way. And then decide what you want to do to prevent these feelings in the future.
3. Build Your Own Castle Walls
Positivity begins with you, scatter it like confetti. Some people will love that quality about you. And those who don’t are maybe just not your cup of tea and that’s okay. Look at the company you keep and concentrate on building more positivity into your life to give your own wellbeing a boost.
4. Be Mindful Who You Spend Your Time With
There is a famous quote by Jim Ronh, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”
This quote personally makes me smile now as I feel like I’ve got my balance just right. Granted it’s taken 38 years and at times a lot of disappointment and tears. But I’m the happiest and most content I’ve ever felt with the company I now keep. It’s okay to spend less or even zero time with Mood Hoovers. Especially if they are affecting how you view yourself, your self-confidence, or you own mood in a negative way.
5. Showing Compassion
Sometimes, mood hoovers may not even realise that they are hoovering up the positive vibes! We all have those bad days that could turn into bad weeks, months or even years.
Showing compassion can result in the domino effect. Behaviours breed behaviours. So just like a negative environment can suck you into feeling impending doom and gloom, just imagine how much more positive your environment could be if we all just tried to share a lot more positivity and hope.
Compassion can boost Mood Hoovers into a new way of thinking whether it’s in our work place or relationships with our own family and friends.
And if showing compassion isn’t doing the trick, it could be time for an intervention. Maybe they genuinely didn’t realise this was a trait. Or they really haven’t assessed how they make you feel. Mood Hoovers aren’t always acting intentionally.
They could be aggravated by their work for example, and they do not realise that their daily moaning is affecting the entire team. Just as positivity breeds positivity, the same can be said for negativity. But if you nip it in the bud, swiftly. Address their behaviour. Compassion and empathy can still be shown and retained whilst also setting standards for what you are willing to tolerate.
7. Does Positivity Really Breed Positivity?
I find that the positive people in life who embrace life and want to fill it with positive thoughts and optimism rather than doom and gloom are probably highly annoying to Mood Hoovers. But this got me thinking, Does positivity really breed positivity?
Even when faced with negative situations I always try to dig deep and continue to spread positivity around with the people I’m with. Most people love the feeling of making others happy, spreading kindness and so much encouragement to others. I think this is what we need more of in life. A simple smile and positive thoughts can have such an impact on your own day as well as those around you.
“No matter what the past may look like, without our permission, our yesterday does not have the power to determine our tomorrow.”— Unknown
Those of us with children teach them from an early age that thinking positive is the key to a happier life. We encourage them to be able to communicate and be open. Surround themselves with positive influences and give them the freedom to grow. So as we grow older, how do people start to fall into the mood hoover category?
Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves, could it be that we are being heavily influenced by the people we spend most of our time with?
When It’s Time To Flip The ‘Off’ Switch
We are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. Sometimes the negativity of others can affect our own energy. It really is okay to spend less or even zero time with Mood Hoovers. Whether a work colleague, friend or family member. It’s ok to flip the ‘Off’ switch and prioritize yourself and your needs.
“You only live once“ is a quote we hear all of the time but in actual fact, “You live everyday, you only die once.”