Some People Are Happy Being Unhappy

By Doug Mayberry

April 13, 2020 4 min read

Q: No one can out-depress my new neighbor! I have learned not to ask her how she is. She spends at least 30 minutes giving me details of why she is depressed.

When she moved in, I invited her for dinner, took her shopping and even agreed to pick up her meds for her. She has never thanked me. Now I try to hide from her because she upsets me so with her requests and demands.

She phones regularly with her woes and needs, and I'm running out of excuses to avoid her.

What can I do?

A: There are individuals who simply take the attitude that they deserve attention and are only happy when they find individuals they can get their hooks into.

That becomes their lifestyle. They believe being depressed brings them the attention they need; they latch on to enablers who become their kindhearted victims.

Negative people are often aware of what they are doing and enjoy doing so, just as happy people are. There is little likelihood of changing their attitudes. We all have only so much energy and should direct it to what works best for us, not what others recommend.

Sometimes the cure can be tough love. Continuing to bail people out of their problems is not a solution.

Rather than avoiding your neighbor, you may need to face the music. Simply tell her your goal is to associate with happy, supportive and positive individuals.

Hopefully she will get your point and either change her attitude or quit bugging you. — Doug


Q: I am an overweight, single, 55-year-old lady, and my health is deteriorating.

My doctor is encouraging me to make changes in my lifestyle. I keep telling him that I don't feel like making any changes. I am discouraged and ready to give up! He said I need to rethink my life or I will die soon.

If I can convince myself that I should make changes, what do you think would be helpful?

A: Weigh your options. Your best motivation for changing is how you feel.

Begin with some simple changes such as taking a 30-minute walk every day. Try an early-morning walk. If the weather is not good, simply walk in place inside. Play some music, or try a workout video.

Drinking a sufficient amount of water is the key to keeping dehydration down. When you first wake up, drink an 8-ounce glass of water. Drink a glass before every meal and snack. This will help fill you up so you're less likely to overeat.

Work at something every day.

Make a daily list, and try to stick to it. Volunteer. Call an old friend. Do some gardening. Take your pet for a walk, or take a neighbor to her doctor's appointment. The options are unlimited.

Think of the people who love and need you. Ask for encouragement from your friends and they will respond. Become your own best friend.

The bottom line is your doctor is correct. Hopefully some of my suggestions will make you feel better and enhance your desire to make life worth living. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay

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