Nov 3, 2009

Eeyore Lives Here.

The old grey donkey, Eeyore, stood by himself in a corner of the forest, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he did not quite know what he was thinking about.

So when Winnie-the-Pooh, the bear, came stumping along, Eeyore was very glad to stop thinking for a little, in order to say "How do you do?" in a gloomy manner to him.

I have been thinking for many years about Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh. Ever since I came to the realization that I had a real live Eeyore living in my house. I was very startled when I finally casually mentioned to someone, that for lack of a better description, I lived with an "Eeyore" and this person immediately knew what I meant and admitted to me that there was an "Eeyore" in their family also. I since then have discovered that most people seem to have a good picture in their mind of what you mean when you see fit to mention that you, for some reason, gave birth to a child with an "Eeyore" personality. Although I guess if you really analyze Rabbit, Piglet and Tigger things could be worse :)

Wikipedia describes Eeyore using the words, "pessimistic, melancholic AND depressed." Whew, that's a pretty intense character analysis for a stuffed donkey made into a cartoon character. So as I read a few analysis's about Eeyore (yes, people have had time to analyze Eeyore) I discovered that Eeyore actually has some good qualities too. He apparently will pretend to help his friends because he has, "nothing better to do" but secretly he enjoys it. Also, Eeyore does not view himself as gloomy. That's a relief. Although now that I think about it have you ever heard anyone describe themselves as gloomy? :) Eeyore is also very smart but he chooses to keep his knowledge to himself. And Eeyore is very capable of a lot of compassion which apparently he showed one time when he grew a plant that Rabbit was unable to grow just by showing it a lot of love.

SO I could not help myself, after reading all these big words describing Eeyore, and I went straight to dictionary.com and looked them up:

Pessimistic is defined as, "a tendency to stress the negative, or unfavorable, or to take the gloomiest possible view."

Melancholic is defined as," sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness."

Depressed? Do I really need to define that? You know what it is, right?

One thing I noticed as I read these definitions is that the word gloomy appeared everywhere.

I worry about my particular Eeyore all the time. I do not want life to be hard for this child and I can not imagine that if you are gloomy all the time life will not be tough. As all mothers do I often wonder what I have done to cause this. I also have been known to search my mind frantically to see if I have ever met any grown up Eeyore's. Or if it is something you possibly grow out of? I sadly, do know some grown up Eeyore's. They are very helpful people but they do tend to have a, "that can't work" kind of attitude and they adore pointing out to you what is wrong with your plans. And they do speak their mind. But those are not necessarily bad things. I like to know where I stand with people and to know that I can trust them and you always know you are safe with Eeyore's. Trust me, I live with one and I know that they will always tell you what is what :)

To give you some better ideas about what an Eeyore would be like here are some of Eeyore's quotes:

"Thanks for noticing me."
"If it is a good morning."
"It works. Didn't expect it to."
"Days. Weeks. Months. Who knows."
"Most likely lose it again."

When I think of the opposite of Eeyore I think of Pollyanna. Pollyanna was always was figuring out how to be glad about everything. Playing the glad game. When her mean aunt puts her in a upstairs attic room with no pictures or decorations she declares that she is ever so glad she has a room and that she has an amazing view because she is up so high. In the Pollyanna movie there is a quote that is sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln, "When you look for the bad expecting it, you will find it." I am pretty sure that is what Eeyore does, looks for the bad, I actually know because I have one at my house :)

7 comments:

Danielle said...

Do you think that maybe you notice the Eeyore more because you're more like Pollyanna? I was just wondering if maybe if you see the attributes more because you are very cheerful. Especially. In. The. Morning. :))

My Many Coloured Days said...

I love Eeyore. Always have. SO laid back, things will just fall off his (or her) back. Pollyana would get on my nerves.

Garcia Fam said...

Jennifer,

We have an Eeyore too! We often call him "Debbie Downer" after the SNL character. It's great that we are not alone!

Grown-up Eeyores -- my MIL is one, so I often guess that that's where my little one gets it.

I think your friend Danielle has hit the nail on the head. Maybe you (and I also fall into this category) are the Polyanna's of the world. We are cheerful and look for the good in anything and anyone. It makes the Eeyores stand out so much more to our stark contrast. I have never given myself this comparison until now. So, thanks Danielle!

Anne Marie said...

I am a bit "Eeyore-ish" myself, and I must say that we have our virtues too...maybe a tendency to be more sensitive to others' feelings, a cautiousness which keeps us from doing too many dumb, impulsive things. Clearly, there are drawbacks, but I agree with another comment on here....Pollyanna would be too much for me.

Eugenia Kaneshige said...

As a career coach, I like to tell people that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and usually they are found on opposite sides of the same coin.

It's important to realize that Americans have a bias for happy, extroverted people with a "positive" attitude. It's not only a cultural bias, but also one that is currently fashionable.

As a parent, you can make your child aware of how others may perceive his personality traits and show him how to play to his strengths, while developing the interpersonal and communication skills that people without a strong need to socialize sometimes lack.

At the same time, parents need to watch for signs of depression, which can be missed when someone is naturally quiet, introspective, shy, or always seeing room for improvement.

Valerie Coffman said...

http://www.bible.ca/psychiatry/psychiatry-mental-illness-casebook-of-biblical-psychiatry-real-cases-book-treatment-companion-eeyore.htm

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything wrong with being an Eeyore if you focus on his positive traits. He's dependable, organized and reflective. He's a deep thinker (something our culture desperately needs these days), and he enjoys being alone because all those Tiggers & Rabbits get on his nerves. Being quiet and reflective is not an illness although our society seems to think everyone who likes solitude is an ax murderer. That's simply not true. Let your Eeyore be who he/she is. We can't all be Tiggers or Rabbits. Eeyores keep us grounded in reality. He might say 'it can't be done', but he'll find a way to do it because it's a challenge to him. Well, anyway, stop worrying about your Eeyore, and heaven forbid, he/she 'grows' out of it. You can't 'grow' out of a personality/temperment that God's given you.