Cutting the cord with negative friends:

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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.

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The bad news has become the norm. What can I do about it?

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It’s the 23rd of April, another attack has happened, this time in Canada. I saw it, scrolled through Twitter’s hashtag for it, and I didn’t feel much, because I’m used to bad things happening in this world. I’ve become desensitized to terrible news, acts of terrorism, and mass killings. When I realize that all I’ve done is sigh and say “again?” I feel bad about it, because there’s no sympathy in that- there’s no horror in it.

But it’s what happens when bad things become the normal.

Terrible acts aren’t new, they’ve been around as long as we have. But in this age of mass sharing we hear about it more. We watch it on TV every night, we get news updates on our smartphone as they break. It’s constant and because of that it’s normal.

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