Don't bring us down 'cos you're in a bad mood

Year ago I went to acting school at a place called WAAPA in Perth. It feels like a lifetime ago, because it is, but there was a lesson I learned then that I still carry with me now, “Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this rehearsal space.”

So many people don’t understand the energy they bring. Is it Big Dick Energy, negative energy, competitive energy, joyous energy?

I had a person who worked for me years ago who refused to say ‘Good Morning’ to people. When I questioned her on her, she said she ‘wasn’t a morning person.’ No excuse. None. Be responsible for the energy you bring to your day and your space.

It’s bizarre to me that people aren’t pleasant when they come into a space and then expect the space to shift for their mood. I call these people emotional terrorists. They decide on the mood for the day and their energy dictates how everyone else will respond.

My mentor in work says energy is a currency. What will you do with it today?

I tend to have energy crises and then blame other people for my energy failings. I can’t write because I have too much housework, or worrying about money, or family or something.

I call bullshit on myself, because I am really just making excuses for not being responsible for my energy.

In the end, wherever you go, whatever you do, you have to be responsible for the energy you bring. Some people bring calmness or optimism, some bring chaos.

Here are some tips on how to be responsible for your energy.

  1. Don’t enter work and ignore people. You’re saying to them you’re unavailable in every way and as a boss, this is a shitty way to start a day

  2. If you know you’re not going to be good company, then don’t go to the event. Seriously. If your dog just died, or something worse, then check yourself. Don’t go, and if you must go, set a time limit and then get the hell out. Don’t bring the event down with your energy, even if its the worst time of your life. If it is the worst time, get help and support wherever you can. Please. Be good to yourself.

  3. I know bad shit happened to you. It’s happened to me and everyone else I know. Some of it is awful, dirty stuff, but this does not mean you get to be awful and shitty to everyone else. You just don’t. It’s bad for you and bad for the people around you.

  4. Don’t be that person. My husband used to like to ruin films by telling us how they did something in the production of a film, I am not sure if it’s to show us his knowledge or to be a ruiner. Until recently when I lost my shit at him and said, don’t being a ruiner! You’re snuffing out the magic. And it’s true. Don’t shit on someone else’s magic. Ever.

  5. Ask people to step up and take responsibility. If people you care about keep telling you the same old troubles, then you have a responsibility to ask them what they are planning to do about it. You say, “This isn’t news. This is something you talk about a lot. What are you going to do about it?' And no, it’s not harsh, its asking people to take action, and sometimes any action is better than festering in your own crap.

  6. Everyone gets a leave pass until they don’t. How long do you allow people to treat you and the others around you like crap because they’re having a bad time? That’s up to you and your relationship and the situation at hand but there has to be a point when you say to them, “Enough. Get help. Please.” It’s hard but good.

  7. Energy is contagious. Have you thought about how a bad mood can rub off on people? Don’t be that person. Don’t. It’s so fucking boring to be around. You’re not the only special one.

  8. When my kids have come home with foul energy I have asked them to step outside and then come back into the house with a change of energy and then tell me what’s troubling them. It taught them about how to responsible and mature with their emotions. As Maya Angelou says, “Don’t bring negative to my door. It gets into the carpet, the walls and eventually into you.”

  9. You’re allowed to be in a bad mood. Just don’t be a shit to others because of it. It’s not cool.

  10. Don’t ask people who love you to heal you. See someone qualified. Year ago when one of my kids was having a hard time in life, I spoke to my therapist about my helplessness in fixing them. She said to me, “It isn’t your job to fix her, it’s your job to love her while the doctor fixes her.”

And that’s it. Don’t be a bad mood boob. Put on your happy hat and smile. This too will pass, I promise.