We all have those days.
You know – those days when it feels like no one’s on your side, when it feels like everyone is just itching to get on your nerves. You have a fight with your significant other, your boss chews you up at work, your family gives you headaches at home, and it feels like the world just refuses to throw you a bone.
Yeah, we all have those days.
Fortunately, we have every cliché statement in the books to remind us how to deal with these ugly days. “There’s a rainbow after the rain”, “the night is darkest before the dawn”, the list goes on and on. Insufferably corny proverbs, maybe, but ones that remind us of an absolute truth: that for every lovers’ quarrel, for every family spat, for every day or moment that you’d rather forget, there exists a thousand others that you’ll fondly remember.
Trying to find the positive in everything and everyone is easier said than done – take it from someone who’s so used to arguing; he’s been told to join a debate team more than once. Still, the key to maintaining good relationships with the people around you is entrenched in positivity. The memories of laughter you’ve shared with friends, the endless admiration you hold for your parents, the way your heart skips a beat when you see her smile – these are the things that you should be holding on to, not the crappy days of endless drama and bickering.
I’m the youngest among six siblings, each of us you can say are walking bags of drama and insecurity, with a father and mother who suffer from the usual parental afflictions of overprotection and insanely high expectations. You could say I know a thing or two about dysfunctional family drama.
Here’s something I’ve learned, though: there’s no such thing as a perfect family (no, not even the Beckhams). There’s always going to come a time when a parent unreasonably chastises their child, when a kuya or ate exerts their dominance over their younger siblings, when a bunso takes advantage of their parents’ favoritism. These things are going to happen, without exception.
What’s important, then, isn’t preventing fights from happening, but rather, moving past them once they do occur. Remember the times you traded stories over the dinner table? When you waged war with your cousins over Tekken or Monopoly Deal? When you told mom and dad about your first crush? It’s in these little moments of bonding that we learn to really love our family – and why wouldn’t we? They’ve been around us since the beginning, and they’ll be there until the end.
What friends are for
Introvert, extrovert, it doesn’t matter – everyone needs friends. Aside from family, they’re the pillars you lean on when life gets tough. When you find yourself drowning in trouble, they’re either the ones pulling you out, or, more often than not, the ones drowning right there beside you.
I’ve never been the most social person, but I can confidently say that my closest friends are the only reason I’m still sane. So when life pulls friends apart, as it so mercilessly will, and when the time and distance between you seem to mount, remember everything you’ve been through with them, and decide if that’s worth holding on to.
Matters of the heart
Ah, this is the big one. After all, romantic relationships tend to go awry at a much more frequent rate. However, the next time you find yourself quarrelling with your significant other, try stopping and remembering why you fell for them in the first place.
Was it the way you could talk with her for hours on end without running out of things to say? How, when you felt like you had the weight of the whole world on your shoulders, one smile from her could lift the burden? How, no matter how messed up the rest of your life was, things just seemed okay when you were together?
I’m getting dangerously over-sappy here, so I’ll do you a favor and cut the long story short: the next time you’re tearing your hair out over your special someone, and are just about ready to call it quits, remembering the positive side of your relationship can do wonders. Heck, you may just forget what you were fighting about in the first place.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a positive attitude is going to fix every problem you have. Your brother’s still going to be a prick, your parents are still going to be overbearing, and you and your friends are going to see each other less and less. Nor am I saying that every romance leads to a fairy-tale ending – it’s the sad truth that not every couple out there is meant to be.
Still, maintaining a positive outlook in terms of the relationships you have can do wonders in bringing out the best that you can be. After all, looking at glasses half-empty all the time is just going to leave you thirsty.