Someone “raining on your parade” isn’t literal, and even in its metaphorical usage, it doesn’t always mean when you are having a “parade” – fun, success, or some other delightful experience – as it can be subtler. People can rain on your parade simply by introducing drama and chaos into your peace and tranquility. They can also do this by attempting to downplay your success and results.
In general, party-poopers carry out their agenda by:
- Being critical about everything you do – looking to find faults, and criticize what you have done, or are doing
- Comparing you and your results to others, in an attempt to make you (or it) seem less admirable or deserving of accolades
- Challenging you and your ideas (relentlessly)
- Focusing on the losses and downsides to every good thing
- Getting aggressive and confrontational towards you – attempting to guilt-trip you, or question your methods and results.
In whatever form it comes, few things are certain: It comes from a place of hurt, and it has nothing to do with you (or your success).
Their behavior is basically driven by
- Jealously (about you), or
- Bitterness (against you)
And with that being the case, you have absolutely no control over their response…but you do have control over how you react, and how much you would allow them to rain on your parade.
That said, below are 7 simple steps to help you deal with people who try to rain on your parade or steal your joy.
- Detach Yourself From The Negative Remarks And Actions: Self-awareness is key. You must understand that people speak from their perspective – i.e. their life experiences, understanding, and biases. Once you realize that it is not about you, you stand in an advantageous position to address the situation objectively – rather than emotionally.
- Ignore Them: This is perhaps the most effective route to take, especially if you don’t know them personally. This approach is best for online interactions (forums, social media, etc.), or events where you do not know the antagonist personally. By ignoring them, you leave them powerless and they are left with no other option other than to let go of the whole charade.
- Try To Understand Them: If the antagonist is someone related to you (by blood), or someone you’d have to work with for a long time (such as an office colleague), then it might be best to put in the extra effort to understand why they are antagonizing you.
The truth is that most people aren’t always aware when they start acting up, so it can be effective to help them see how their actions are harming you or the progress of what you are all building on.
- Attempt Diffusing The Situation: If the individual isn’t persistent (in attacking all you do), you can easily diffuse the whole awkwardness by rising above their sly comments and quirky behaviors to focus on another good aspect of the topic, or simply talk about something else entirely. You can also attempt being solution-oriented and positive by asking them to elaborate their opinions, and possibly make “suggestions” they think would be better. Their response to this gesture would enable you to decide if you should kick them out, or consider their perspective.
- Confront Them: If an individual won’t decease from being a nuisance, then it might be time to get confrontational. You need to outright ask them to stop! This might require you giving them reasons why, or even threatening that you’re going to kick them out of your “party”. Remember that it is your life – your peace and joy – so you shouldn’t feel bad defending it.
- Avoid Them: Unfollow, block, limit contact with and kick out people who manage to always see the emptiness in every half-filled cup. As mentioned earlier, it is not your responsibility to figure out what is driving them to be so jealous or bitter. But it is your life, so you have all the right in the world to weed out troublemakers from it.
- Focus On Positivity: Above all, don’t lose sight of the multitude of people cheering you. The human mind has a quirk that makes us obsess about negative feedback, but the truth most of the time is that there are way more positive feedbacks. And this is most times the solution to the problem – it is the antidote to the pain of seeing people try to rain on your parade. By simply shifting your focus to positivity, the negativity fades away.
There you have it. The truth is that there are unfathomable reasons why someone might decide to ruin an otherwise perfect moment. So, it can be near impossible to figure out why they are doing it. It’s even more tasking to set them straight – because it is not a logical response, but an emotional one. Hence, to deal with such people, you need to follow these 7 tips above.