I’ve talked before about the Eeyore Syndrome. You remember, from the world of Winnie the Pooh, there’s this character called Eeyore, and he was the original poison playmate, Debbie Downer, and Complainey Janey all in one. If you have an Eeyore in your life, you know it. This person loves to talk about how unfair life is and has NO interest in your ten awesome suggestions about how to *fix* anything that’s going wrong.
Last week, I participated in a fantastic panel for Ms. in the Biz and — while the title of the panel concerned me, going in — when I saw who my fellow panelists would be, I knew we’d be coming at the issue of “Navigating Hollywood’s Cutthroat Corners” from a positive, empowered direction. Because I don’t perceive my journey as having been filled with cutthroat encounters, I can’t speak to the challenges that I’ve faced. I don’t believe that I have had that many more (or fewer) challenges than anyone else. My journey is my journey, and how can I know whether it would’ve been better or worse, had I been born anyone else?
The panel discussion was lively, fun, and overwhelmingly uplifting, because we truly celebrated all the things we *can* do, rather than focusing on anything that may be interpreted as limiting. When a young lady in the audience asked a question from the negative, panelist Katt Shea talked about how coming from that negative space is, in fact, a choice. Something I wanted to say, but didn’t (because Katt did such an amazing job of squashing the negativity *and* because of something I’ll share in a couple o’ paragraphs) is that one of the most powerful things we have the ability to do, today, is to create our own content. So, when someone wants to complain about how there are no stories being told starring a certain population, the fix is simple: Produce the story you want to see told.
No, it won’t be done at the $5M level (unless your Kickstarter action is really impressive), but every story told helps break down walls that you may perceive exist.
Of course, an Eeyore won’t want to hear about solutions. An Eeyore wants to list all the ways it won’t work, it can’t work, we’re not allowed to have a voice, the Hollywood machine has kept us down for so long, life isn’t fair and wah wah wah wah wah. On the drive home from the Ms. in the Biz event, my husband asked me why I didn’t pipe in to mention that self-producing is the cure to most perceived gaps in storytelling. My answer: “That girl had already made her mind up. She didn’t ask a question because she wanted an answer. She wanted support (or sympathy) for her political position. She led off her intro with mention of how being contrarian was a part of her brand. I don’t invest in conversations with people whose position is cemented in place. I like to ‘yes, and…’ or to debate with openness. I no longer offer solutions to people who aren’t *actually* seeking them. And I don’t spend a second engaged with someone who has committed to being bitter about anything.”
As if on cue, an email from the Abraham-Hicks mailing list made its way into my inbox, and it contained the following: “It should only be talked about if the talking will make you feel better. People believe that you’ve got to focus upon the problem in order to find a solution. And we say, no solution ever comes forth — it’s never inspired, you never recognize it, and you are never able to facilitate or achieve it — from your place of focusing on the problem. They are two entirely different vibrations.”
That’s pretty much exactly what Katt said and what I thought to myself that night. Beyond that, though, I go one step further, and celebrate the Eeyores of the world, because they’re getting EXACTLY what they want from life. They want to see conflict. They want to be victims. They want life to be unfair… and therefore it is, and therefore they get more of exactly what they choose to celebrate.
If an Eeyore in your life FORCES engagement, like, “Whhhhyyyyyyyy aren’t you indulging me? Whhhhhyyyyyyyyy aren’t you feeling bad for me? Whhhhhhyyyyy aren’t you helping me?” the answer is, “Welp, the two hundred and sixteen other times I suggested ways to get out of, change, or fix similar situations led to no change, so I’m going to try just being happy for you, listening, and then talking about things that are NOT currently stressing you out.”
Using that method, I have had 100% success rate with either impacting the person’s choices *or* preventing them from attempting to draw me in for their drama. I am a “fix it” junkie, so I have to do this to protect myself from Eeyores. They’re addicted to it. Don’t YOU become addicted to it too. You’ve got work to do, as you go about making this industry a better place, every day.
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001739.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.