You're in a good mood, you're ready to share good spirits with the birthday person. You pick up the phone ready to blast a Happy Birthday, dial, wait while it rings.
It's especially important because this is your elderly parent. This is your second call for the day; the first was in the morning. This is the evening call and it will be your last for the day, so you want to make it a good one.
The phone is answered. There's a pause. Even before you hear the voice on the other end, you know it's going to be a downer. "Hello?" It's a tired worn out voice. The voice does not sound happy that you even called. Your heart sinks like a stone.
You feel like Debbie Downer has just walked through the doors of your party.
No matter what you say, the other person is bringing you more and more down. If you say, "Take some allergy relief" you hear "I don't want to ; it will make me even more tired."
"But your allergy relief pills don't have anything in them to make you tired."
"I don't want to take any medicine."
"Okay, have some coffee."
"I'll get sick if I take coffee."
You realize this person is not in rational mode. Everything you say will be met with a negative. You will get nowhere except more and more lost into a cyclone. There is NO conversation.
Wait! you think to yourself. No, you say aloud. "I just called you to bring some birthday cheer to you. And instead of bringing you birthday cheer, you're just complaining and complaining. I don't even know why I want to wish you a happy birthday" and you hang up. Instead of a happy birthday, you feel anger and you're not even recognized for who you are, for what you've done.
It feels awful. Not just that things didn't go like you planned, like you wanted, to bring cheer and good will..... But what just happened to your positive energy?
When positive energy meets negative, seems like the winner is the negative. How do you, the positive person, sustain a relationship where the negative energy dominates?
Not just that, if you're a positive minded person, how do you hold onto yourself in the midst of such a relationship? What happened to all that anger that was generated from frustration at not being able to utilize the energy and positive attitude that you were given in life?