Are You A Debbie Downer? Part 1

Are You A Debbie Downer? Part 1
May 1, 2012 Leslie Juvin-Acker

Are you a negative person? You might be spreading around negativity without even realizing it. This article examines the qualities of a Debbie Downer and how you can become a Positive Patsy.

Saturday Night Live has a funny sketch called Debbie Downer, a woman who kills the fun in any situation by bringing up bad news or depressing information. While comedically, Debbie Downer is fun to watch, nobody wants to be around a negative person for too long.

Focusing On The Negative

Are you the type of person who automatically sees the negatives in any situation? Even if the good outweighs the bad, do you prefer to focus on the bad?

Debbie Downers seem hung up on the negatives in life, so much so that their negative perceptions affect the rest of their lives in areas such as attitudes, feelings, and beliefs. Negative attitudes set the tone for situations and affects others and the environment around us. As a result, everything becomes a struggle, situations and relationships are complicated, and just about everything seems like a giant hassle. This starts and continues a vicious cycle that includes in cynicism, procrastination, depression, and anger.

Turn It Around

While the negatives in life are much easier to spot because they make us feel miserable and, at times, act as signs that tell us to start improving our lives, the real wisdom and strength comes from choosing to identify the positive in situations as well as the positive opportunities hidden within negativity.

Opportunity often is disguised in negative situations and serve as launching points to make growth happen. Creative thinking, learning, sharing, and serving others are just some of the good that can come out of negative situations. Go beyond identifying negativity and transform it by making an active effort to harness the negative in life to stretch your imagination and limitations.

Negative Dialogue

Debbie Downers have a broken record of negative dialogue which can contain the following words or phrase:

  • depressing
  • annoying
  • aggravating
  • miserable
  • I don’t want
  • exhausting/tiring
  • sick of
  • horrible
  • no hope
  • never
  • frustrating
  • hate

These words are just a sampling of the kind of words that are sprinkled in everyday conversation that, through mere expression, paints an image for others to see of the world we see and experience. Do you describe the world in positive terms or negative terms?

Turn It Around

Our dialogue is very telling about us and our vocabulary act as markers that point toward negativity or positivity. When I first begin working with clients, I get them to carefully monitor their language and their discussions. After a while, clients report how much they notice how, through their choice of words, they can guide a conversation into positive or negative areas. When choosing positive and construction conversation, they notice how much their experience of life and their relationships change for the better.