Let’s set the record straight: wet blankets suck! Just the thought of a soggy blanket wrapped around me is repulsive. It is stifling, chilling, and drags you down. A blanket is supposed to make you feel all damn fuzzy inside and a wet one does the exact opposite. Now that we have that out-of-the-way . . . a wet blanket isn’t always literal. It can also refer to a stifling person that drags you down into the muck and mire where they occupy time and space. It’s probably safe to say that all musicians have dealt (or are currently dealing) with these individuals at one point or another. True achievement will be extremely difficult if these problems go on unchecked. Rising above it can be hard but it’s not impossible.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always obvious when someone is a wet blanket. They come in many different forms. I have dealt with some that claimed to be friends and so I bought into their filth-spewing for a while. Many times it seemed like wisdom but after a while, that same wisdom began to buckle and weaken. Eventually things hit the fan and I couldn’t take it anymore. I started to realize that I had been duped by a wet blanket. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
- They are in a constant state of criticism. Nothing is ever cool or good unless they say it is. Anything you bring up is obviously not cool enough, could be a lot better, or is just plain wrong in their eyes.
- They tear apart what they are unable to achieve. This is usually a sign of insecurity and jealousy. Dead giveaway for a textbook wet blanket!
- They could always do it better.
- Being happy for someone else is a foreign concept to them.
- They act as though their standards are the only ones you are supposed to live up to (we are not talking about parents here).
You are probably starting to see a trend. Furthermore, I’ll bet that if you haven’t already thought of someone who fits this description, you will run into someone this week that falls into this category. They are everywhere and in every field of work! So, once you recognize that you have a wet blanket problem, what do you do?
Cast it off, I say! Depending on the situation, this is easier said than done. However, regardless of situation, there is always a way. Here are some tips on casting off a wet blanket:
- Create distance between you and that person(s). The further away you are (physically or mentally), the harder it is for them to have an effect on you.
- Listen to your gut. If you have an underlying sensation that they really don’t have your best interests in mind, do what YOU know you should do, not what they tell you to do.
- Explain to this person that you would rather they not advise you anymore and that you would rather find your own path (This is situation specific. Use your best judgement.). Be advised that if you use this tip, there will most likely be pushback. They will think that you are turning your back on them or they will say that you are arrogant. At all costs, try to ignore this behavior and stick to your guns.
- Kill them with kindness. Refuse to let them get you down. If you continue to rise above their foolish behavior, eventually they will just fall by the wayside. This sounds clichéd, but many times it is way better than exploding on the person. You maintain your self-respect, and they end up looking ridiculous in the process.
At the end of the day, these wet blanket people are just unsavory for anyone. Regardless of when you realize that someone is dragging you down, it’s never too late to cast them off. To close, I think I will give the floor to someone who is well versed in snarky, step-off statements that could easily be directed at wet blankets:
Please let me know your thoughts and share your own wet blanket stories!