My Negative Friends

by M
(Florida, USA)

I am a very likable person and naturally have many friends. Several months ago, I had an opportunity to think about life, read some books on the subject, did some deep contemplations, and etc., then I noticed I could no longer tolerate 5 persons. I have had a long time friendship with them and they cannot understand why I am not answering the phone calls from them (caller’s ID is the best invention of all). They keep calling, leaving voice messages, sending me text messages, e-mailing me. Honestly I don’t really want to listen to the crap any more.

I feel like pointing out to them on their negativity and suggest them to get some sort of help. I am not a therapist or anything and have no duty to help them, but I feel bad about ignoring them, leaving them with a question of why I am not responding to them. They don’t seem to have a clue, and it has been several months, but they still keep on bugging me. It’s not that I don’t care about them, but I cannot take any small crap any more.

The problem is that this issue is bothering on a daily basis, and I am aware of my desire to tell them honestly that it is not good for them to be so negative and also I want to stay out of communicating with them. Everyday, I think about writing letters to them with the best of my honesty. Is it a good idea to do so? They don’t seem to stop calling me. Here I am talking about people who sincerely care about me but their attitude toward life really sucks. I am wondering if I tell them what I think, instead of ignoring them, maybe I’ll feel better? This has been torturous.

Visitor's Comments
Date: January 20, 2008
Posted by: Catherine,

Hi M,

Dealing with negative people can be tricky when you've decided that you want to change your own thinking to be more positive. It's why I wrote my book, "65 Positive Ways to Deal With Negative People". : - )

I think you might want to talk to them. When you think about it, avoiding them is a negative behaviour. You're not being honest and true to yourself or to them.

You just need to tell them that you've been reading some books and focusing on eliminating negative thoughts and conversations from your life. You can even tell them what books you've been reading. They might be interested and agree with you that they need to work on seeing the positive more often too.

I wouldn't tell them that they need help or criticize them at all. It's not your place to judge them like that.

The fact that you have such a strong reaction to them, "I can't stand them" may be a sign that there's something you want to look at there. Why does it bother you so much? It's your reaction that you need to look at. Once you get to a certain place with your thinking, you'll find that you notice their negativity but that it doesn't affect you. So, the current question is why do you react so strongly to the thought of talking to them again? What feelings does that thought bring up in you? Hope that makes sense. Just let me know if it doesn't. You may learn something really valuable about yourself.

Anyway, it's true that sometimes when we change, we end up moving on from old friends. Being honest with them is the best policy though. You'll feel better about yourself. It'll also be a huge relief that you're not running away from the problem anymore. You'll have dealt with it and be free to move on with your life. So, face it straight on. I'm sure you'll find talking to them isn't anywhere near as bad as you think it will be. It's definitely easier than avoiding them. Just make sure that you're not blaming them or accusing them of anything. Just tell them about the changes you're going through and how you're working on becoming the best person you can be.

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