Grumpy people – dealing with negativity

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Not everyone thinks moving abroad is a good idea. Jeremy Clarkson for one. He seems to think we are all failures!

Obviously it is best to take it with a pinch of salt as it is well known that JC makes his living by pointlessly antagonising people in his newspaper columns. I think it is also fair to say that you are fairly well protected from the realities of what the UK is actually like when you live in a mansion in the Costswolds. But this isn’t a Jeremy Clarkson rant. Some of his nonsense is very funny when you agree with it…

It did get me thinking though about how surprised we have been by some reactions to our plans to move. Our decision to move abroad has made me more aware of the people who would actually rather NOT try something in case they didn’t like it! Perhaps at risk of alienating half the world, I just don’t GET this!! I am not trying to advocate a life of endless gap-year travel with no responsibility, but if you are one of the 25% of Brits estimated to suffer from some level of Seasonal Affective Disorder isn’t it a good idea to care enough for yourself to not REALLY want to feel crap and miserable. For half of every year? For half of your WHOLE LIFE?!

At the same time the NHS is dealing out 31million annual prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs. We live in a strange world!

Feeling down? Give yourself a free addiction to something very chemically similar to Ecstasy!
Feeling down? Give yourself a free addiction to something very chemically similar to Ecstasy!

I would rather responsibly work towards a life where my good mood is maintained by regular excercise in a favourable climate, a healthy diet and a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun. Not to mention a moderate but steady supply of inexpensive and good quality wine, perhaps not always within the UK government’s safe drinking guidelines, but I am a grown up, and have decided not to take advice from a bunch of liars and thieves.

Moving away from the rant and back to my original point, although most people aware of our impending move have been very supportive and happy for us, there are always those few tiresome (though admittedly sometimes well meaning) people who seem to enjoy, erm, urinating on the fireworks of others.

Some examples:

“Everyone who goes abroad always comes back.” – needless to say, no direct sources could be provided for this assesment.

“I don’t really like hot countries.” – (From 10 year old nephew who lives in the country in UK and has only ever travelled to France – in Winter!)

“Your kids will get bullied at school you know.” – A pretty definite pronouncement given that we don’t know which school it will be or even which KIDS yet – give us a chance they haven’t been conceived! But, no, sorry, you’re right, I should hold out here so they can attend the university of knife crime and the school of hard drugs here in London. Oh please.

NB. None of the above quotes come from anyone who has ever set foot in Portugal.

I’ve also been especially shocked to hear real negativity from some forum posters going out of their way to discourage people with these dreams. Maybe they want the beach to themselves? I’m all for good advice – I am very much aware that turning up in Portugal with next to no money, English as your first, second and third language and no work is very daft but this is why sensible people plan.

The title of my post was “dealing with negativity.” So how are we dealing with the grumpy people?  Well, we don’t exactly find it hard to rise above it – they provide great entertainment and it is great that these tedious people dot themselves around so well…..always one on every plane, one in every restaurant, one in every family, one in every newspaper and one or two on every web forum. Most of all it is good that they generally lack the courage to make the kind of move we are planning to, so they won’t get in my way when I’m trying to buy “that foreign muck” in a Portugese supermarket.

Hurray for the “Glass-half-fulls”!






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  1. “Your kids will get bullied at school you know.”

    What a strange notion.

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