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I know we have all heard the power of positive thinking. I also know we have also run into the narrow negative thinker. The one who complains and moans and groans. How does it make you feel when your day is bright and your heart is singing, and negative Nelly comes to visit?
You see her coming up the walk and think about hiding to let her believe you aren’t at home. But instead, you roll your eyes and answer the door as you think, I need a miracle, she is absolutely positively negative!
How does Nelly feel?
Let’s turn this around a bit. We all know how you feel because most of us have been in a situation like this. But how does Nelly feel? Do you think she enjoys the constant barrage of negative thoughts in her head? Or does she not realize how her friends receive her when she starts to talk.
I think Nelly knows who she is and how she sounds. Yes, she tries to cover it up with her rationalization. Nelly tells herself she is made this way and can’t change.
But when she is alone, and all she has for company are her repeated negative thoughts rushing around in her head she is just as uncomfortable as you are.
Why does Nelly continue with the negative behavior? What makes her have negative energy?
Definition of a negative person
Sometimes we need to put things into perspective. When we can understand what we are dealing with it is easier to handle.
Negative according to Vocabulary.com https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/negative
Negative means focused on what is bad or lacking. A negative ad tells you bad things about the competition. A negative person loves to complain.
characterized by or displaying negation or denial or opposition or resistance; having no positive features
With this definition would it be safe to say that a negative person has awful thoughts that come out of their mouth. They see the glass as half empty, the day as gloom and doom and the sky is always falling on their head.
Why is Nelly negative?
She may be using her negative processing as a way to cover up the pain. The emotional kind of pain that runs deep to the inner core of her heart.
This pain may stem from refection as a child or an adult. Instead of facing the pain she draws attention away from herself by complaining and talking negatively. The people around her focus on their uncomfortable feelings with the negative behavior and do not see her inner pain.
She is an introvert by nature and is uncomfortable in conversations. All she knows to talk about is how someone else has done her wrong. Or she is focusing on the negative aspects of another person so she will not have to face her inadequacies.
She doesn’t want anyone to notice how insecure she is. Nelly exudes negative energy; her friends become uncomfortable with this horrible feeling. They can’t see past her exterior to look at her insecurities. People around her are contemplating how they can get away from her.
She has acted this way for so long that it is unintentional. But it does take the attention off of her lack of social skills.
When depression begins, it will manifest in anger and negative thoughts. Displeasure is one of the stages before the deeper feelings that will follow. Your friend may have problems with depression. It may be in the beginning stages or not well controlled.
Inside she feels worthless. Everything that comes from her mouth will be negative if she is unaware of the depression or trying to hide behind the feelings.
Now we have three possible reasons for Nellies actions. How will you deal with your friend now that you know more about the intentions behind her negative behavior?
Helping Nelly and yourself
The best way to help Nelly is to show her kindness. Understanding why she is this way will help you see her differently. You can continue to have a friendship with her. But compassion alone will not change who she is.
You can bring to her attention that she is finding something wrong with everything around her. Hopefully, she will be receptive. If she is not at least, you have opened up her mind to think about this later.
If she becomes angry and does not listen to you, then it is time for the next step.
You did not cause her behavior
You can not change her. She will need to decide to get help and improve herself. Do not take responsibility for her actions. If she became angry, do not engage with her.
Anger is her coping mechanism so. She is uncomfortable with these negative thoughts, but change may be too painful.
When you engage with an angry person, you allow them to transfer their anger onto you. They no longer have to cope with the feelings because you have removed the focus. You are now the problem.
If all of this fails then move onto the next step
Separate yourself from your friend
In the end, if she is not willing to hear you and work on the issue, it is time for you to take care of yourself. You still have compassion for her but can not take care of her. Do not allow her to drag you down into the same depths she resides.
You can only continue to be there for her if you stay positive. You can be positive if you separate yourself and renew your mind.
Think of this separation as a temporary sanity check, your sanity that is.
Nelly is a negative person, and it is hard to be around her. You now have some insight into why she may be like this but you still can’t help but think, I need a miracle, she is absolutely positively negative. I have listed three that will help you have more compassion for her. Do not be responsible for her actions. When you have done your best for Nelly, it is time to separate. Renew your mind with positive thoughts.
A cynical person will bring you down and drown out the positive. Do not let this happen to you. Nelly can choose to change when she is ready, and you can have compassion while also caring for yourself.
You may have questions, if so please leave a comment and I will assist you in any way I can.