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Be honest, are you a joy sucker? Here’s how not to be.

Are you a joy sucking person? Can you loved ones share good news with you without you turning it into an opportunity to complain about what you don’t have? You don’t have to be this way.

I observe so many women who are unhappy with their lives, not reaching goals, squandering opportunities and they see other women who aren’t like that and it makes them mad. If they see a woman who is filled with joy, optimistic, crossing off things on her to-do list, it makes her feel inadequate. They take it as an assault on their ability. What they start doing is picking at the happy woman. Little jabs because they want her to feel their pain, to be as uncomfortable in her skin as they are in theirs.

I’ve had it happen where someone has tried to rain on my parade because they were depressed. In past years I would walk on eggshells, trying to be respectful and understanding.

Not anymore.

There is sadness all around of. Lots of reasons, real reasons, to be depressed. What you’re not going to do is bully me into feeling your emotional pain when I’m in a good place. I worked to get here. I earned the right to be happy.

It may just be my line of work, but I see it a lot where the most joyful black women are the ones who are targeted the most. After all we’ve been through, why can’t you be happy that we’re:

1. Making moves

2. Making money

3. Have beautiful families

4. Are getting opportunities that were not historically afforded to us

5. Anything else that brings a smile to our faces.

Here’s how to to not be be a joy sucking person:

Stop inserting yourself into every situation. If someone says they love blue, blue makes them happy, blue brings them joy, you don’t have to say, in that moment, that blue is your least favorite color because when you were young, blue ignored you.

Stop fetishizing sadness and pain. It might get you more attention, but some of us aren’t interested in being known for being the sad underdog who can’t catch a break.

I’m so happy for you > I would never do that

You are doing great > I wish I could do / have that

Recently, I had a friend who was dealing with some real sadness. I was, too. But, because I have little kids, I was pushing through and dealing with it in a way that worked for me and my family. Basically, I had just enough to give an eff about my own stuff, and none left for anyone else’s. Anyway, my friend kept pushing, her messages getting more and more explicit because she wanted a reaction from me other than the one I was PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY CAPABLE OF GIVING.

At some point, you may need to talk to a therapist.

Anyway, I say all of this to day, let folks be happy.

Stop weaponizing your sadness.

Check yourself before you wreck someone else.

And before you dump all of your issues on someone—at least ask how they’re doing first.