Bad News Blues

Next time that you're in a group, I want you to test something out: start complaining — a lot.

Start complaining about the weather, your kids, your job. You name it, whine about it. Then see if people still stick around you. Or do they move? Do they wander?

I'm betting they move and wander — far.

Don't take it from me. Take it from a very nice mother I met Wednesday night at that book signing I did with Oliver North (search) in Harrisburg, PA.

She told me she was a "recovering jerk."

When I asked her to explain, she said she had just stopped complaining. That she could see she was depressing her friends and pretty much all with whom she came in contact.

It took a co-worker to tell her, "Jeez, will you just shut up? You're depressing the hell out of me!"

She was stunned. So, she tells me, she has learned to just shut up.

Then she told me before she did shut up and move on that the carping, whining media — as she called it — should just shut up and move on too. That they're depressing folks just as much as she did, with the incessant drumbeat of bad stuff.

She got me thinking: We are what we hear, what we see and what we read.

And if all we hear is bad and see is bad and read is bad... well, we feel bad.

It's not rocket science and not an excuse to only report the good, but to recall the other thing this woman noticed at this gathering with colleagues.

The guy who was upbeat and funny drew a crowd. Most having just left another person... who drew only a scowl.

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