I used to have a friend that leaned towards the negative side. She always had a lot to say about people, things, events. It was all bad. Nothing was above gossiping. I put up with it for a while because I still enjoyed the company. I enjoyed when we went out to do things. At my worst I’d play into the gossip a little, at my best I’d change the topic to something else.
The friendship didn’t go up in flames, or maybe it did on her side, maybe I’m the object of that negative gossip now. I wouldn’t have a way to know. What I do know is that despite red flags that this wasn’t the healthiest friendship I continued it till one night. That night we went to dinner, a normal occurrence. I remember walking out of the restaurant and saying goodbye. I felt awful. I was in a bad mood. I felt drained. I had gone in in a good mood and left a mess. After all the red flags, somehow that shift of mood told me that this was the last time I was going to dinner with her. So I went home and I put a lot of space between us until communications halted.
There are times in relationships were we need to bare our friends burdens. When our friends are going through hell they sometimes need to unload. We do it to them and they should be able to do it to us. Depressed friends need support, you can’t just drop people when they get negative about the things in their life. It’s when that negativity continues and spreads to all aspects of life once the circumstance improves. It’s when life gets better for them and they still want to trash on everything and everybody. It’s when the the conversations of others go from “they wronged me” to straight gossip.
Sometimes there is no transition from one to another. Sometimes it’s just someone is negative or not no matter what is going on in their lives. It’s when people shift back and forth that you feel like you are in a grey area. You don’t know if you’re in the wrong. That’s when you really need to reflect on what all is going on in a persons life, and not just how they are painting something. It’s when you need to focus on how they talk about things they supposedly like. It’s when you need to draw the line and say “no this person is clearly not depressed they’re just negative”, and in those moments you need to realize that a last dinner might be your saving grace.
Being around negative people kills our energy. It drains us and leaves us high and dry. And, as if that’s not bad enough, their negativity can rub off on us after a while, as I talked about in another post, we become who we spend our time with. Do you want to become that negative? Do you want to fall down that hole without the energy to climb out? Sometimes we need to check the people in our lives. Sometimes we need to do spring cleaning- even in the middle of summer.