Do you know a mood hoover? No, it’s not the latest vacuum on the market to rival Dyson. A mood hoover is someone who, when you’re around them, or interacting with them, has the ability to suck the happy mood you’re in right on out of you.
Mood hoovers are able to make the happiest of occasions turn sour. They stomp on your joy as if you’re not deserving; if they aren’t feeling chipper, then why should anyone else? Sometimes, it’s more insidious; a mood hoover can bring you down almost without you realising it’s happening until it’s too late.
Mood hoovers are often pessimists. Their glass is never half full, but almost always practically empty. There is no bright side for them to look on. Everything is too much like hard work and why bother?
I bet even just reading this post has made you feel a bit less cheerful, amiright? Being around a mood hoover is a drain on our own emotions and it can be hard work. So, what can we do about it?
We could try cutting the mood hoover out of our life. Obviously, this is easier in some situations than others. For example, if you’re Facebook friends with a mood hoover and their constant moaning and misery is getting you down, you can simply unfriend or block them. You don’t need to read that every day. Even in ‘real life’, we can ‘unfriend’ people, although it’s more uncomfortable. We need to accept that friendships come and go, and our own needs and what we look for in a friend can change over time. If that monthly get-together with the mood hoover is turning into something you dread, stop wasting your time and energy on it and move on.
It becomes trickier when the mood hoover is a work colleague, family or even someone we live with. If you work with a mood hoover, you can, at least, try to keep a little professional distance between you and interact as little as your roles will allow. If this isn’t possible, then maybe it’s time for a frank chat, if you can face it!
As far as family goes, you really have two options; you can either ignore their mood-sucking behaviours, or challenge them. Try to remain as upbeat as you can, despite their constant moaning. Hopefully, your chirpy attitude might rub off on them, or at least they might realise that their whinging is having no effect on you and stop doing it as much. Or, you can take them to task. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help cheer them up as it’s causing you and others to feel low when you really have nothing to feel low about. It could be that there is a genuine reason why they behave like this, something they need help with, and maybe you’re the person to do it.
Take a look at your relationships – online and in the real world. Is there anyone there you’d consider a mood hoover? What will you do about it?
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