Hi Friends – Welcome back to Coffee with Clare! I am delighted that you are here today!
I have a friend who is pretty much a “negative-Nellie”. She usually only calls me when she has another crisis going on in her life. She never seems to call to tell me what is going right in her life, and she rarely asks how I am doing. On the rare occasion when she does manage to ask me how things are going, she usually interrupts with something, and the conversation again turns to her and her problems. Although we have been friends for the past 25 years (since high school), these last couple of years have been extremely tough. I don’t want our friendship to end, but I have about had it up to my eyeballs with all of the negativity and pity parties. She wasn’t always this way- I just want my friend back! Aarrghhhh! Please give me some suggestions, Clare!
Negative Nellie’s Pal
Dear Negative Nellie’s Pal:
I have to tell you…. I think WE ALL have a friend or two like this – people who are always negative and selfish – always talking about themselves. I know you are trying to remain loyal to her and your friendship. I would mention this with her and say – “Can we talk about something?” Wait until you get her attention and say, “I am concerned. You seem to be a bit negative, and I am concerned about your wellbeing. Let me be honest, please. It really hurts my feelings when you call and always talk about yourself – we’ve known each other for a very long time, and I cherish our friendship, but I often feel like our conversations are just one-sided.” This is probably going to shock her and it is probably going to change the course of your friendship, but I think you need to do this for YOU, and your own wellbeing. You really have nothing to lose at this point as you don’t sound like you want to continue with the friendship “as is”.
At the very least, you may need to limit your time (face-to-face or telephone), with your friend. If you do not see any real progress or changes, I would occasionally speak to her or do something with her from time to time, but not often as it will truly “bring you down.”
Thank you for stopping in today and I would love to hear from you! I invite you to email your questions, problems and “life challenges” directly to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear from you!
Until next time !~