“I was on a river cruise last week and fully intending on enjoying myself and relaxing. This was my first vacation in over two years. The food on the cruise was good, but not fantastic. Several people were complaining ad nauseum about the food, at every single meal. At one meal, they were really pushing me to join into the negativity. I was there to relax and enjoy myself and didn’t want to be part of the negativity. So, when they really pushed about filing complaints, etc., I said: ‘Any meal that I don’t need to cook, serve, and clean up after is an excellent meal.’ Everyone was quiet for a very long time. Then I got some smiles and nods around the table. Part of civility may just be being careful to not destroy someone else’s good time.”
I couldn’t agree more. You really do have to pick your battles, and forcing others to take a negative stance over something so minor is pointless. My friend’s meal wasn’t ruined by less-than-fabulous food. It was ruined by her tablemates’ constant complaints. People really feed off of others’ energy, so be aware of signs that you might be bringing others down.