“Leveling”…..we all do it. Leveling is what people do to make themselves feel better. We either try to level people UP to where we are or we try to level them “DOWN” to where we are if we are feeling negative and unhappy. The choice is ours. I always want to inspire people to be positive and keep fighting. In other words, I try to level
up. And this is why I choose to have around me all kinds of people because if I only had sick people around me…we would all be leveling each other down because there would not be someone there to level up and we need the hand to snatch us up and say..come on..life is still out here…get with it.
I like having around me those that are not sick along with the sick so that it keeps me balanced and makes me keep reaching up and fighting to stay up. There is more to life than sickness and if all I have around me are others who are sick…it makes it hard to see the sunshine. I quit doing chronic illness groups because I found that a lot…not all..but a lot of it was people trying to outdo each other on how sick they were. That is leveling down. One person will tell how bad they feel and twenty will chime in with how bad they are or worse and it is like being in a swirl of negative emotions.
Balance is important in life. If a person..and we all go through this…resents those that are positive or that can do more than them…then they have not accepted where they are in life whether it is the job they have, how their family is, their financial status or their health. For example: I as a parent wanted my children to do better than me and have more than I did. I see some parents whose children go on to become successful and wealthy and the parent resents it and feels like the child owes them. They let this make them bitter and they start leveling the child down by trying to pull the ones doing well down to their level.
If you choose to be sunny and happy and smile even through sickness and pain, job loss, financial woes…then those that have gotten lost in the things wrong in their lives and are bitter about it will get angry. No matter how much you may try to reach back and pull them up to where you are because you want them to have joy in their lives, you can not do it because it is a choice for them and they have to choose to come up.
There comes a point you quit trying to lift certain people up for the negative will bring you down if you are not careful. That does not mean you quit caring but that you must have a line drawn for leveling down can happen to even the most positive person no matter the circumstances. Whether it be financial, marriage or relationship, health, job, children…no matter the situation..there will always be those that tell you how bad things are and are miserable in their lives and will try to level you DOWN to their level. That is when you have to set a boundary.
I went to the rheumy doc this past week. I sat and just watched in the waiting room and listened. You could instantly pick out those that were fighters and had that positive attitude. You could see the pain on their faces but they did not tell you about it. And then you had the others who were telling everyone that would listen all their symptoms, pains and woes. One woman started talking to son and I and she whispered “sounds like a morgue in here doesn’t it” and I almost choked on my water. We talked about sunglasses, sales going on, children and all sorts of things and she was one I could see was a “level up” person. And she made my trip so much nicer as going out and being in the power chair for hours throws me into a pain crisis.
I went into my doctor and he talked to me for a few minutes, told me he could see I was in a lot of pain even though I was smiling at him, asked me did I need different pain meds. I told him no and said that my pain doctor was handling my pain well. I also told him.that I knew being totally pain-free was not an option and that this pain today was from the trip up. He just gave a hint of a smile and kept writing and after examining me, he said…”I see some serious things going on now on top of all the things you have wrong and I want to test them and x-ray you and see you in one week and then in another week. He listened and I truly believe it is because I was not being dramatic. I was not putting on dramatic faces. I was being the me I always am. And the most important thing was he LISTENED and he BELIEVED me and he was taking action immediately. That is something all patients want.
What many people fail to realize is that our own “leveling” affects how our bosses, doctors, co-workers, friends, family treat us. If we are a level down person, we turn people off. People who level down and try to pull people down instead of pulling them up are looking for company in their misery or attention. You know the old saying “misery loves company”. This causes people to not really hear us if we have a complaint. It is sort of like the boy who cried wolf. If every day is filled with nothing but white noise complaints about how bad the job is, how bad we feel, how bad our life is, our kids are, etc…then it becomes like that noise sound you get in a mall where everyone is talking but no one can understand anything anyone is saying. This does not mean that leveling up people never say anything is bad or that we do not feel bad. It means we choose to not make the bad our whole life.
And choosing to not support someone that is a leveling down person is not pushing them down. If you attempt to level up and be positive with someone and they get angry and reject it over and over and then start trying to “level” you DOWN to their level by their comments, it is time to step back. I believe in reaching out to others to pull them up and help them find that joy that can be found even when the world is not going right for you in your job, family, health, finances, etc but we have to protect ourselves too and not get sucked down and lose our footing.
If you are normally a positive person and find you have fallen into a “leveling down” cycle, first look around you and see who you have been talking to or have been with. They may be the leveling down person and you are just getting sucked into the abyss of leveling down. If that is the case, take a break from them and work on getting yourself back to leveling up and that means not just leveling others up but leveling yourself up. It is important for us to keep leveling ourselves and others up for it helps us survive anything that is thrown at us.
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