Published courtesy of Truckers Connection.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Misery loves company?” Boy, is that ever true!
It’s crazy how negativity can escalate in a group if you let it, how easy it is to get swept up in the less-than-stellar aspects of a situation rather than realize that you’re choosing to drown in the bad rather than focusing on the good. Because rarely –if ever—is any situation 100% bad. But what you choose to focus on makes all the difference.
If you’re on Facebook, you might be familiar with groups that you can join to interact with like-minded folks out there in social media world. For instance, I’m in various groups for my love of reading and traveling, pets or sports. And when you’re in those, you can post and see others’ posts on the subject, comment accordingly, get tips and tricks, learn things you might now know, etc.
There are multiple groups for Trucking: like “Everything Trucking” or “Trucking: Rates & Lanes.” There’s even a “Trucking and Single” group, if that’s you.
But beware, many of these groups can go downhill in a hurry if you choose to let them. Some folks out there are only happy if they’re unhappy. And when they’re unhappy, they want others to be unhappy. And that snowball is one bound to crash badly.
I’m in a group for a community where I own a townhome. It’s in a great gated community with tons of super amenities (pools, etc). When we first purchased, I was very surprised to learn there was not a Facebook group already in place for owners in the community. After all, it’s a great way to ask questions or share info about coming events, and so on. I thought of starting one and then looked at the zillions of things I already need to handle and decided against it. After all, these must be moderated and pretty regularly so extreme comments are addressed or removed, no scammers are present, etc.
But I was delighted to hear that someone else started a group earlier this year for our community and gladly joined. And from there, were my eyes been opened to a lot of things I hadn’t realized. Neighbors claiming the landscaping wasn’t good enough, the trash should be emptied more often, the pool chairs need to be cleaned, the staff is rude, the owner’s desk doesn’t do what they should, the security gate personnel are unfriendly. And on and on. Now this place I thought was fantastic suddenly took on a different vibe. Had we purchased poorly? Was this a sink hole of real estate vs the investment we thought it would be?
But as I walked around last week, trying to be more objective in my own assessment, I have to say the place was sparkling. Everyone was cordial, doing their jobs. The lawns were mowed, the pool was pristine, the trees were being pruned, paint was fresh. And I thought: man, what are these other owners thinking? Are they SEARCHING for things to complain about? I’m sure everything isn’t perfect (what is?) but from what I saw, it was pretty stellar. And yet, in that group: complain, complain, complain.
And it reminded me of the adage: Misery loves company. One starts complaining and others pile on and it escalates. And then it’s even harder to be the lone voice saying: Really? Are you really being fair in your assessment or are you nitpicking just to nitpick?
Megan Cullingford Hicks is The Trucker Media Group General Manager. She started at Trucker’s Connection magazine after graduating from college with a degree in communications, thinking she would do this until “something better came along.” Nothing did, and over the next quarter of a century, Megan rose from assistant editor to editor and then to general manager with an array of duties ranging from writing her monthly column Viewpoint to penning various feature articles to general operations, business development, and digital implementation, thus gaining her the unofficial title “ringmaster.”