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    1. #1
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      sheltieluver's Avatar
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      Don't know how to approch this

      I have a friend I've been friends with for quite sometime I'm close with her family and her kid and have gone on vacations with them.

      The last few years have been tough on her before I met her she moved to Florida and she only lived there for a few weeks and had to move back here. Her mom and dad moved in with her. Two years ago her dad passed away. Her mother has been nasty to her and hurtful even before the dad passed. Jan her husband lost his job. He found another but took quite a pay cut and they now have schooling to pay for to send their son to catholic high school, so she's stressed about money.

      I totally get what she's feeling and being a friend I listen but it's to the point that everything she says is negavite. She brings up the past I will say I understand but you can't live in the past. I've told everything has a way of working out it will but it might not feel like it now.

      It's really starting to get me down when I'm around her. She's a good friend and I work with her to so it's not like I can keep my distance for awhile.

      I don't want to be insensitive be I get what she's going thru. Everyone has been thru some hard times. I'm just the personality that tries to be positive and it will eventually work out. There are studies that show if your negative it attracts negative energy.

      Any advise on how to handle this or should I just keep quiet and try not to let it bother me.

    2. #2
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      I know from personal experience its best to be quiet on advice but positive on offering to do stuff. if you can, be a leader on fun/happiness without preaching. offer invitations on weekends or social activities is what helped me the most...talking on phone and text messages was a major bore/lecture/letdown.
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    4. #3
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      I would listen if possible, because she probably needs to verbalize. But when the "woe is me" starts, I would probably remind her that I have heard it already and ask her what is she doing to change things.
      Sometimes people need to get professional therapy. This might be what Jan needs.
      Sometimes a sympathic shoulder isn't enough.
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    5. #4
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      I have told her that maybe she should talk to a professional and she said that maybe she should but she hasn't yet. The thing is I've offered her advice and told her unless she does xyz in the situation regarding her mother anyway that it won't change. She will say I know but I just can't. A friend of hers who also works with us and they've been friends longer her and I will talk about it. We do go out as a group and she seems to have fun.

      Listening to problems is one thing it's just the constant

    6. #5
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      my true friends and feelings towards them had nothing to do with what they said...it was more the opposite with me on what they didnt say and that they silently understood...but thats just me. hang in there...sometimes you dont need to say anything unless someone will get hurt.

    7. #6
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      if they are in such a bad way there's not much you can do but listen. and listen some more.

    8. #7
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      Being there with an open ear is very supportive. Can appreciate hearing over and over again the same sob stories. DD is going through a rough time right now and it hurts so much to see it and to listen to her, sometimes things that have been expressed many times before. I did have a talk with her about it and trying to have a more positive attitude but I know it's hard for her.

      Maybe you and the other friend can invite her out for a "positive night". No negative thoughts allowed. It may help give her the lift she needs.

    9. #8
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      You know, I'm a pessimistic sour old man, my wife is the bubbly optimistic opposite. She builds me up. I swear I get annoyed at her sugar coating everything but it helps me. You, of coarse, are probably not in a relation with your friend as I am with my wife, you do however probably HELP your friend getting through some of this. Hang in there if she's really a tight friend.

    10. #9
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      I also have a hard time dealing with constant negativity, especially if the person isn't taking steps to improve the situation. Was she a positive type before things took a turn for the worse in her life? If so, and if you really like her, then I would hang in there as she gets through her rough patch. If not, well... I tend to distance myself emotionally from overly negative people. I don't know if that's the 'right' thing, but sometimes it's a matter of (emotional) self preservation.
      Is she open to advice? For example, many Catholic schools give a break in tuition based on financial need. Does her son *have* to go to a private school? Does she work/possibility of getting a second job? Why does she let her mother live there if she's such a toxic personality? etc, you get the idea...

    11. #10
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      I had the worst time when MIL was sick. I felt like an utter failure and had never been there before. I was a can-do person and there was nothing I could do. She didn't have anyone but my husband and me and he couldn't handle the practical matters so it fell on me and it was so stressful. I was extremely unpleasant to be around. I'm pretty sure that people in the soup know that they're not in great shape. Oddly, I think I would do much better if it came up again just because I would know to put myself first.

      If there's any way to pull her out of the day to day and do something fun, that would be great. But if you really don't think you can help, lend an ear as much as you can but don't spend so much time with it that you get upset.

      I have to say that what peeves me now that my situation has resolved is that a couple of people want to slot me in that horrible space. I recently cut a friend because that's all she asks about and she was barely there when it was happening. My life moved on and that stage is over but she was always picking at it. It was so frustrating that I almost posted it here because I wondered if there's term for someone who revels in the negative. Probably not.

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