What is a mood hoover I hear you call.
A mood hoover is a person who is constantly stuck in the negative.Full of doom and gloom. You have all met one (indeed you may be one yourself), the kind of person who complains about the rain and then as soon as the sun comes out it is too hot for them. Then again it could be a friend who, upon telling them that you just lost weight will say that you looked fine before.
I will give you an example.
Some years ago I worked with a team of people who were absolutely rocking. We had fun every day, despite working for a government department, and our creativity in dealing with the work was astounding. No, we didn’t burn the files. However one member of our team was, what I define as, a classic mood hoover. Always seeing problems in each new process but could never find a solution, he complained if it was hot but if the air conditioning went on it was too cold, you get the picture? One weekend I got 5 numbers on the lottery and won £1500. I was ecstatic, I had never so much as won a goldfish at the fair before. On Monday I went into work and told anybody who would listen to me about my good fortune. Each and every person was pleased for me except this one man who said “Gosh I bet you were livid that the 6th number hadn’t come up” I was agog at the comment. It had never crossed my mind that I was so close to the big payout and yet that was his first thought. So there you go a classic mood hoover. Although I am going to add in here that he was a really nice guy and he had the ability to make people laugh when he forgot to flick the switch marked N.
Mood Hoovers can be a nuisance but if you are only surrounded by Mood Hoovers then they can suck the life out of even the most positive people. Mood Hoovers can cause others to lose confidence, become depressed, cause anxiety and a host of other emotions if a person is only surrounded by negativity and doom and gloom.
It is hard enough to remain positive when life is throwing lemons at you but having to deal with Mood Hoovers and their low self esteem, lack of confidence, jealousy, envy or whatever else they have going on makes it even harder to keep up that positivity.
Surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people is all well and good but life isn’t always that simple. It is easy to be sucked in when surrounded by mood hoovers so how do you avoid it? Especially if those mood hoovers are your loved ones.
These are my three ways of dealing with mood hoovers in my life. Believe me when I say I have many and I am learning all of the time.
- Challenge the behaviour. Not always easy and you have to be prepared for the excuses, reasons and negative responses. You never know though it might surprise the person that you see them this way
- Ignore the behaviour. Not always easy, especially if the behaviour is that of a loved one. Is the behaviour an isolated incident/the same topic or is it a constant negativity about all things? In such cases you have to decide what you will accept and what you can cope with alongside what else you are getting out of the relationships.
- Remove yourself from the situation. This is the hardest one to do. It’s not easy to leave behind a relationship that has meant a lot to you. Loved ones can be the biggest mood hoovers but no matter how much you love them if the negativity is draining you emotionally and physically you have to consider if being around them is good for you. It’s your life and it should be the best you can make it. You only get one life after all.
Remember that you can be in charge of your moods. You need to take charge no matter how hard that might seem. Don’t let yourself be stuck in the cycle of negativity and start to see the good in life again.
I recently read a very good tweet from Paul McGee of SUMO fame and it goes like this
You are not a fish ………….. don’t take the bait