I have a good friend whom I'll call Leah, and I love her and her family very much. She and I have known each other a long time and we can have so much fun together and laugh so hard that we are both in tears. While she goes to a different church than I do, we both still believe the same things. I have 3 teenage children, she has 3 adult children. We are both conservative and border on being old fashioned in our thinking and beliefs. We enjoy a lot of the same activties and listen to the same genres of music and neither of us can sing worth a darn, but boy can we sing loud, and we love singing together because we are the only ones who don't care how bad we sound! LOL She really is a great friend and she'd do anything for me.
But she is very very negative.
Leah is definitely one of those "the glass is half empty" kind of people. Nothing is ever just right. With the weather, it's either too hot or too cold. Too windy or no breeze. Too sunny or too cloudy. With her family they are either all grumpy or way too wound up. If I want to go shopping somewhere and she comes along, she is just sure we're going to get lost (uh hello...that's why Ms. GPS is along for the ride). If I find a shirt on sale and I'm all giddy with excitement, she is bummed because she can't ever find a good deal like that. Even in her church she is negative because either the Pastor didn't do a good job at his sermon this week or there were kids screaming in the back so she couldn't hear.
Negative. Everything is negative.
When she is in a positive mood, it's great and that's when we have so much fun. When she is being negative, I can sometimes bring her out of it, but it's not easy.
And it's exhausting.
We are connected to Leah through different aspects of our lives, besides friendship, so I can't just not be around her. And I don't want to disconnect myself to her, because as I said, she is very dear to me. I do get tired of it though, ya know? Some days I just want to shake her and say "STOP!"
Don't get me wrong. I'm not perfect and I do have my negative moments, but those are usually either PMS related, or reactions to something that has just happened. And I try very hard to get out of those feelings. I try my best to find at least one good thing about every situation so I can focus on that instead of the negative. And I don't like bringing others down with me, so if I'm having a bad time or am grumpy/negative, I'll let my family know that I'm sorry but I'm working on it and it'd be best if they just ignore me at this particular moment.
So how do you deal with someone who is always (or almost always) negative? Do you just ignore it? Do you tell them what they are doing? Do you bonk them upside the head with a book and tell them to knock it off?
Do you think they know they are being so negative? Could it be they enjoy it?