Punch drunk love

Amongst my friends and housemates, there’s a drunken compulsion that I’m famous for indulging.

No, not that.

You’re disgusting.

After one too many drinks, a favourite and highly-mocked pastime of mine is to explain to my friends, loudly and at great length, how wonderful they are and just how much they mean to me.

While most of these outbursts border on (or set up permanent residence in) the ridiculous—“When we’re old we’re still going to be friends and we’ll wear the most comfortable shoes ever made!”—I actually think the sentiment’s quite nice.

Working at the Journal, I’ve been the recipient of a fair share of negative remarks—thanks, Internet commenters and select members of the Queen’s drama department—and they can get difficult to ignore.

People seem to jump at the chance to express their displeasure and impatience, expounding the stupidity of a TA who gave them a bad grade and commenting with unmatched vitriol on the wait time at the Common Ground, but when a moment for every-day congeniality or congratulation occurs, there are fewer speakers to be found.

That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of love out there—because there is—I just think it gets greatly overshadowed by the human desire to complain about things.

I’m not immune. I’ve always been somewhat of a pessimist, and lately I’ve been making a concerted effort to move my brain towards the positive, which is probably where this “let’s all hug” ethos is coming from.

If someone you know has done something you admire or if a friend of yours is managing a high-stress workload with aplomb, why not tell them so?

Complaining about issues like the ones above serves no real purpose; you’re left still mad, and the people you’re whining about aren’t going to be pleased either. But sending a compliment the way of a friend—or, why not, a stranger?—makes at least one part of the equation feel good.

I don’t buy into The Secret and I don’t believe in auras or vibes of any kind. If you’re a positive person, I don’t think you’re more likely to attract positive events to your life. But your experience of these events—which is really all you can control anyway—will be easier to handle.

I think it’s important to remember during the stresses of November—the month of midterms, colds and flus and dreary weather—that a crazy schedule or a breakup isn’t the end of the world, or even particularly important in the grand scheme of things, especially when you have friends you can wear orthopaedic shoes with in the future.

It’s hokey, maybe, but I don’t think it’s too much to promote a “beer goggles of the heart” philosophy. The important people in your life are important for a reason.

I’m not advocating bringing a flask to your next house meeting, but a few well-placed kind words never hurt anybody.

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