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Coffee With Clare

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Hi Friends – Welcome back to Coffee with Clare!  I am delighted that you are here today!

 

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Dear Clare,

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!

Signed,

Negative Nellie’s Pal 

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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.”  

 

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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: lifeainteasystreet@gmail.com   I would love to hear from you!

Until next time !~

Clare 

 

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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27 Comments

  • Farrah says:

    You give really great advice! I have a friend like this, and I’ve kinda had to limit the time I spend with them. I haven’t tried directly approaching them about it in a while, but I really probably should.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks Farrah! I appreciate the support…. I try to be loyal… but once or twice myself I have had to gently remove myself from a friend or two.

  • Anita Fonte says:

    I totally agree with you. It comes a point when you have to speak up for yourself. Of course you must do so in a nice way not negative. I have friends and family that are like that. I usually tell them stop being so negative and look at the bright side of things.

    • Clare says:

      I believe if we are close with people, then it’s important to be honest and direct one on one with them, tempering it with love, too, though. We all get negative – I know I do – but it’s hard I know when I’m always bummed out afterwards if I have a certain friend who is always negative. Thanks for sharing.

  • Michele says:

    Yes, we are called to speak the truth in love and she may not even realize how one-sided the friendship has become! Pray for her and for the friendship, especially before approaching this difficult discussion. Ask God for wisdom and discernment on the right time to talk, the right words, and for her to have the right heart to receive and understand. A lasting friendship is a genuine blessing and will lift both people when they need it most!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, prayer is so important and I believe it should be the first step for sure. A lasting friendship is a genuine blessing and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Paola says:

    I had a very negative friend, and she pulled a suicidal stunt on me on the same day I found out I had cancer, which was my birthday as well.
    It was horrible for me, I called her mom, explained what was going on, and that I was going to step away from her because I needed to focus on myself and couldn’t have her negativity around me.

    • Clare says:

      Wow – wow – I am sorry you had to go through that awful experience – we appreciate your candor and sharing that. Yes, I imagine you did have to take a step back from your friendship with her – especially due to what you were going through.

  • Miss Angie says:

    Great advice. I spend a lot of time cutting out some of the negativity in my life. I think we all have those moments though, so it’s important to remember that.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, Angie, there are always two sides to every story and two sides to every friendship and relationship – great thought for sure! We all do have our “down” moments and “down” times.

  • Half the time they don’t even know how negative they are. That’s because it’s so ingrained in them.

    • Clare says:

      Really true, Carol. Lots of negative people don’t realize I think all of what is coming out of their mouths. I have to constantly “check myself” when I get in those times. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

  • Shann says:

    Great advice. I completely agree that we all have a person like this on our life. It’s hard to talk to them about it, but it must be done.

    • Clare says:

      So true, Shann. I don’t think any of us are alone about having negative people in our lives…. it is hard to talk to them. I think to make efforts to see of we can maintain the relationship I agree it (talking to them one on one) is a must! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Kate says:

    I totally have had friends like this. I think I attract them because I am a really good listener, and tend to be non-judgmentally supportive. Great advice.

    • Clare says:

      Hey, those are wonderful qualities, Kate! I need to work on my “bad listening” skills – at least some of the time (my kids tell me that anyways) 🙂 🙂 It is great that you are supportive! Keep it up!

  • Mikki Jo says:

    I’ve been guilty of being negative myself. Lord help me to a positive in people’s lives!

  • Becki S says:

    Great advice! I have tried to reduce the amount of time I spend with toxic people or people who make me feel bad about myself or my decisions. Thanks for reminding me that thats a okay 😉

    • Clare says:

      Becki- it’s so hard, though, isn’t it. I consider myself a pretty “loyal” friend… but there have been maybe a friend or two I had to literally back off from…. because of the “negativity.” Thanks for sharing!

  • andi says:

    and pray for the friend too

  • Karen Dowd-Hansen says:

    Good advice, Clare! There is enough negativity in our world today without having to take it from a ‘friend’ all of the time. We need to keep positive…….

  • Clare, I agree with your advice for a direct and honest approach. Life is too short to allow ourselves to be surrounded with negativity. I think your reader will feel like a burden has been lifted once she is completely honest with her friend. It will be up to her friend to decide what happens with their friendship from there. Either way, your reader will be in a much better place with the friendship than she is with what is happening right now.

    • Clare says:

      You are helping her by sharing this, Denay, and I thank you for this! It is important to be totally honest – one-on-one with our dear friends, but not in a hurtful or degrading way. Such great thoughts and comments – sure appreciate it! We all do!

  • Bette Childress says:

    I love your advice Clare, but I hate confrontation and am not comfortable with it. However, you are right and this should be addressed to see what the future of this relationship will be. Good luck to Negative Nellie and her pal. I wish you the best.

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