Battery chargers

I read this quote recently and had to share it with all of you:  “Keep the people in your life who charge your battery, not the ones who drain it dry.

You know exactly who that refers to, don’t you?

The dream dashers.

The negative Nancys.

The wailing wallers.

Hello, I'm a Discourageraptor and I'm here to eviscerate your dreams!

The snark-a-saurus Rexes.

The discourageraptors.

The ones whose sport it is is to point out the frailty of your plans.

The ones who love nothing more than telling you every reason why whatever it is you’re dreaming of will never come to be. 

I don’t know about you but sometimes I find encouragement a little hard to come by.

I’ll set off on a mission and find myself assaulted by others’ opinions; every comment shared out of “concern” drags me further out to sea.  Suddenly .. I’m adrift. Bobbing along with the current, like a refugee, wondering if I even have the energy to get back to shore?

Easy answer, harder to hear:    I. Allowed. It.

Keeping the peace .. for someone else’s sake.

Allowing them to steamroll me because that’s just how they are.

Losing my voice in the cacophony of theirs.

And then, in the midst of it all, a glimmer of light winks at me in the distance: it’s a battery charger.  The person who smiles when they see you, lifts you up in love and whispers: You can do it.   That’s a great idea! How can I help?

image from Bronners Christmas Wonderland; Frankenmuth, MI

This Christmas, I’m asking Santa for a stocking full of Battery Chargers.

How about you?  Do you have someone to charge your battery?   Are you a charger or a discourageraptor?

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Friendship, Growth, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , | 46 Comments

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46 thoughts on “Battery chargers

  1. This is a great post, MJ! I’ve never heard this comparison of folks to battery chargers, but it’s great! I’ll definitely remember this one, and I’ll try to be a battery charger!

    By the way, I sent you an award today! 🙂

    • this is funny .. I was just on your site and read about your award and also how you shared it with me. I came back to my blogroll and saw a comment on this post .. and it was you 🙂 Serendipity??
      Thank you for the compliments .. I had fun writing this one and making up words! PS you are definitely a charger Dianna 🙂

  2. This is a creative analogy. And your new words are perfect. I have two battery chargers coming in this weekend and I can’t wait to plug them in.

  3. I love this blogging world…you people are all so encouraging!
    Thanks for a wonderful, awesome post MJ….seriously. 🙂

    • Yes, D, I love it, too. Bloggers (most anyways) seem to be inherently encouraging. I should have clarified that I meant other than … 🙂 Thanks for weighing in! MJ

  4. cooper

    I think i need a differnt plug…the voltage keeps fluctuating….

  5. Great analogy! Your post reminds me of the Debbie Downer skits from SNL ( I do a mental “wah wah” sound in my head when someone is being especially negative. Wonderful post!

  6. Now that sounds like a New Year’s Resolution (type of thing) that I could completely get behind. When I was in grad school, we said that we always wanted to avoid crazy-making people.

    • … I physically feel my eyes glazing over at the Wailing Wallers. I have one in my office; lovely person but … oy yoy yoy … my teeth clench just thinking of it. Thanks, Steve, for your thoughts on this topic, MJ

  7. Growing up, I often felt discouraged. I love my family, but looking at them now, I still see a lot of negativity. Thankfully, as an adult, I can choose the people I keep close, and I’m happy to say that most of them are battery chargers!

    Great post!

  8. A creative, funny, true post and a great analogy as everyone else has pointed out. I will remember this post! Thank you…will go out and find more battery chargers and make sure I charge some as well!

    • .. Thank you for your insight. There are many battery chargers in the blogosphere (as evidenced by all the positive comments, thank you). I just find that, in my “real” life, that’s where they’re sometimes lacking… Charge it up!! 🙂 MJ

  9. As many have said before me – I love the analogy of Battery Chargers. Perfect! Excellent, MJ. Again. 🙂

  10. This is really good. I hope to always be a battery charger. I find that the people I tend to drain the most are myself, (sigh) and my husband. My husband is a HUGE dreamer. I get to be the practical person in his life. I don’t do this well, as I am naturally a cheerleader. But alas, it is the way I get to add value. I try to encourage his energy toward the do-able portion of his dream, the part that can be done. He tends to announce his “dreams” to everyone, like the time he said that the whole family was going to Disney World on vacation when we were going through a bankruptcy and about to lose the house. I think that dreaming, although it may be delusional at times has kept his head above water…and come to think of it, I think it does that for all of us. The trick is to determine which ideas are God inspired dreams and which ideas are happy thoughts and ideas that keep us going, even if we never accomplish them. And then we have to have to discretion to determine who to share the dreams with…;) Thanks for this great post!

    • Thank you, KD. I understand exactly what you mean and I know it can be hard to be the practical one. My hubbs is very grounded and sometimes a little too much so .. I push him to let loose the reins and dream a little from time to time. But you’re right .. we have to use discretion on who we share them with. Sometimes, just for sport, I’ll admit to throwing something outrageous out there just to make the wailing wallers’ head spin. I’m a little bit bratty that way! Cheers! MJ

  11. Great comment. I have had similar thoughts, though I refer to those negative people as ‘toxic’ and always ‘draining the energy out of me’. Fortunately, I’m at a point in my life (semi-retired) where I can avoid 99% of them. Life is so-o much better. And I’ve found that all my BatteryChargers and I actually make a point of keeping each other charged!

    • … avoidance seems so simple but it really does work. Like my 81 year old mother would say, “Who wants a slice of that?” HA!

      You are smart to keep yourself surrounded by chargers and to make it a point to keep each other fired up – awesome! MJ

  12. I” take a stocking full of battery charges too
    Great post

  13. Great post! I’ve really tried to be more conscious of not letting the battery drainers in my life (or keeping them at bay). I think they feed off people like us. I’ll pray for a stocking of chargers too.

    • I try to stay balanced and work hard to see the positive in situations and others .. but sometimes the very best thing I can do with someone that drains my battery is quietly .. step aside.

      Cheers! MJ

  14. You are always posting the most thought provoking and positive entries in your blog. I have a feeling that old Santa will leave you so many battery chargers that you will glow in the dark. Write on!

  15. I definitely want some battery chargers. When you are retired you have to charge your own a lot and that gets tough.

  16. I love this! I recognize that there are people in my life who always make me feel good, and then there are the ones who suck the life right out! I’ve gotten better at removing myself from these draining situations, although I am still not good at being direct. But at least I recognize the pattern and can rescue myself, and earlier in my life I thought I just wasn’t doing enough.
    Thanks for your clarity, as always! ~ Sheila

    • You’re welcome, Sheila. and for the record, I don’t think many of us are very good at being direct. I’m not … but I’ve gotten better. It felt rude to me to be direct but I’ve learned that others aren’t mind readers. I can actually say the words, “You know what? That wasn’t nice” and not sound like an 8 year old. Mostly I’ve learned to run the other direction when I see a drainer coming my way 🙂 Thanks for weighing in!! MJ

  17. great analogy! You asked if we were battery chargers in others lives? Yep. I’m one .:-) and like several others who commented, the older I get the more intentional I am about avoiding the nay-sayers. who suck the life out of me. You are also an encourager…I can tell. DM

    • DM you confirmed what I suspected: you are an encourager, too 🙂 I try very hard to be one .. sometimes I am better at it than other days but, for the most part, my cup is always half full. Thanks for weighing in, MJ

  18. Wonderful post — thanks for referring me back to it. I have to make up a list of birthday wishes. This will be tops!

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