It's hard to be honest with this person because you have probably known them for a long time and feel sympathetic to their situations. However, it is more important to decide if the relationship is worth the effort or if it's time to cut ties. So what do you need to do to deal with this emotional catastrophe of a person? Here are five tips on how you can help turn that frown upside down.
She has something pessimistic to say in all of our conversations.
Some friends just see the glass as half empty all the time, even if you blatantly point out all the positive factors in life. Your friend needs a paradigm shift, a better perspective, or a clean pair of glasses. Be honest with your friend and let her know comments like that breed a negative karmic spiral and she should try and see if there is anything positive about what the two of you are discussing. Building on a positive base will help steer the conversation clear of unnecessary pessimism. If it is still difficult for her to find the hope, then move on to a different subject and agree to disagree.
She criticizes frequently
Even constructive criticism can be downright negative when your nay-saying friend is doing it more and more often. This can lead to a mistrust in the friendship as well as a lack of support for any endeavor you hope to pursue. Who wants a nagging cheerleader on their team? Not you! If your friend is important to you, take what she says with a grain of salt. If you feel like she is moving further and further away from the relationship, then be honest and tell her the criticism she’s giving is not as “helpful” as she thinks it is and to please stop. How she responds to this will be a clear indication of the future of the relationship. Be brave!
She tells me how her day is the worst, every day.
We all need a shoulder to cry on, but sometimes that shoulder needs a break if the leaning is happening on a frequent basis! If your friend is visiting, calling, emailing, or texting every day about how horrible her life is (especially in minute detail), then you can do one of two things: a) encourage your friend to see a counselor who is more experienced and can offer detailed advice on how to handle life’s challenges, or b) let her know that you want to help her, but your schedule right now is not allowing for a 4 hour “whah” session to take place and to call you later at a more convenient time. She might feel offended or feel like you are blowing her off, but your time is important, too. You can also suggest reaching out to other friends or even family members if you are not available, and hopefully she will have received the necessary amount of comfort or sympathy.
She tells me that I am doing something wrong and offers her indisputable opinion.
This twist on #2 is a tough one to handle. Your friend has an opinion on everything and will remind you how her unsubstantiated argument is the one to listen to, mostly because she feel she isn’t being heard in #3. She has to put her two cents in, even if you are a pro in a chosen field; it does not matter to this gal. She will tell a 30-year veteran lawyer that mens rea happens once a month and to change his opening arguments. Ask your friend to prove her stance on the matter with other factual information or to leave the subject matter to the professionals. It is okay to have an opinion about something, but telling you how to do your job, how to raise your kids, or which grout goes with what tile in your kitchen, especially if she has no experience in these areas, is where the line should be drawn.
She gets mad at me when I try to help.
So your friend is done being negative for the day and asks, “What do I do with my life?” Your response should not be negative in any way. You don’t want to copy her attitude. It’s hard to help someone who clearly does not want to be helped, but if you do your best and offer the advice she’s seeking, even if she does not take it, then you’re a good friend and a good person and that’s what counts. Being there, even if it goes unnoticed gives an extra karmic boost and the positivity will spread in other avenues of your life.
My Favorite Way to Diffuse a Bad Attitude
SHOPPING! Oh, yes, everyone likes to shop, whether you're a guy or a gal. Sometimes, your friend needs a mini shopping trip in order to get his or her negativity right out the door. Thumbs down on bad karma! Here are a few places you can take your pal to make them happy:
- any place that has food - food is the ultimate feel good favorite
- any place that has cute shoes - brand new pumps always make me feel better
- any place that is a one stop shop - this will cause lots of walking and she will exercise those bad "feelers" away
- or you can stay home and online shop with him/her - convenience shopping doesn't add to the stress of going outside
Even though money doesn't buy happiness, shopping surely helps put off the bad vibes for another time.
Mini Tips to Dispute Negativity
- Start laughing.
- Watch funny cat videos.
- Say random words.
- Speak in a foreign accent.
Try it, it's fun!
To Stay or Not to Stay?
In the end, it’s all up to you and how your relationship is with your friend. The dynamics may be different and may need some further coaching or research on how to help your friend’s negative outlook on the world. Most counselors offer couples advice, but you don't have to be in an intimate relationship to get the benefits. Yet, you have to ask yourself if this relationship is worth sacrificing your ultimate happiness or if you should find new friends who will support and create a positive environment for you to thrive.