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Many of us have been exposed to images from melodramatic programs where chairs get thrown, hair is pulled, tables are flipped, and screaming insults fly though the air. These sensationalized shows seem somewhat removed from reality, but unfortunately, there are individuals in our society who not only live to see drama unfold, they also feel compelled to be at the forefront of creating it.

There are many types of community blowhards that appear to enjoy targeting people. They may relish stirring the pot or bring misery into situations. Some may get off on being an online bully, dropping hate bombs, airing dirty laundry, or by simply being an irritable creature.

Some people couch their aggressive behaviors under the guise of acting as the gestapo for political correctness, deeming what is or is not appropriate, or attempting to control others’ behaviors and choices. It is unclear what gives them the right, ability, experience, or power to determine what should or should not be done.

These actions may happen for a variety of reasons, but often, these rabble-rousers choose to focus on creating an aggressive bombardment instead of working to accomplish something more constructive. Venomous exchanges replace what may have started out as a simple difference of opinion. It can quickly spiral out of control, picking up speed as it sucks more people, time, and energy into the vortex.

We may also be the culprits of this negativity. There will always be people who can get under our skin or situations that can bother us, and it can be easy to be critical of others. Although there are plenty of things that rub us the wrong way, if our own pessimism isn’t carefully observed, it has the potential to take over our lives and impact the ways we interact with our environment.

It can easily turn into a type of addictive pattern that is harder to break the longer it goes on. It becomes our usual way that we engage with others. It may turn people away from wanting to spend time with us or cause a dark cloud to be created overhead.

It’s more difficult to maintain a positive attitude when you feel that you are surrounded by crappy people or situations. It is up to us how we want to engage with these challenges, which often have a variety of options about how we can expend our energy. We can complain about things or do something to fix them. We may also determine that something is not worth the time or effort to worry about, and we can simply blow it off and focus on other things.

There are people within communities who tend to be visionaries, creators, or just simply enjoy moving important initiatives forward. They might produce fun, new events, develop great relationships, or be of assistance to others. Although often met with positivity, there often are at least a few grumpy voices that tend to pop up for the purpose of causing gloom and doom.

Those who take the initiative to create something know how difficult it can be to receive feedback from others. Many times, we can appreciate good ideas from individuals who offer assistance or their experience to help others. Unfortunately, there are times when messages of judgement, criticism, or negativity loudly interrupt the excitement of doing something positive.

Sometimes offering suggestions or recommendations can be helpful in working to improve something, but these perspectives are not always welcomed or well-received. We all have opinions and judgments about almost everything in our lives, but some believe it is not only a desire, but a personal duty for them to express their viewpoints. Although some people claim that these intentions are to bring attention to something unjust, they may also be doing this to gain attention at the expense of others or deriving some twisted pleasure from creating drama.

It can be difficult to determine someone’s true intentions, and there are times when engaging with someone argumentative just seems like a pointless endeavor, especially if a likely outcome is aggressive behaviors being directed at you. The fear of potentially being attacked can stop someone from getting involved. It can feel like you’re welcoming a storm of negativity into your life, and people often choose to be silent instead of confronting that negativity.

There are times when it seems like everyone has an opinion about almost everything and can sit on the sidelines complaining about how messed up something is. It is easy to be an “armchair quarterback” where someone screams at the players of some game that we feel should have performed better. It is a way to be critical without actually being able to cause an impact to improve the outcome.

Even if they are infrequent, critical comments can still cause some strong, concerning impacts on us. They can quickly evolve from just a few bitchy remarks to becoming more frequent in our lives. Instead of focusing on what other people are doing wrong, efforts and energy need to be more productively used in causing positive impacts in our community and society.

Unfortunately, there are ways that these people’s behaviors are actually encouraged either directly by others becoming involved to offer support or apathetically standing by while others are ridiculed or attacked. It is important for us to not give power to these toxic individuals, and our energy can be better spent on working towards making our environment as positive, productive, and encouraging as possible.

For those who have enough free time to spend constantly making critical comments on other people’s lives, they could benefit from focusing on how to improve their own lives instead of causing drama. Instead of getting fired up and calling people out on their behaviors, consider volunteering time for a nonprofit organization or with communities that could benefit from support. Focusing on positive change in the real world is more important than bringing more negativity into this world.

Although it can appear that these negative people have the loudest voices, the reality is that not only do we not have to listen to them, but we have the ability to shut them down. It doesn’t matter if it is calling others out on an online forum or confronting those people at a party that can suck the life out of a room full of enjoyment. As a culture, it is important for us to get better at telling those people that we would like them to close her mouth and stop attempting to spread their hatred when the world is such an amazing place to live in. It is up to us to cause the change we want to see.