Dear Soul-Sucking, Negative Friend: I’m Done with You

You cannot expect to live a positive life, if you hang with negative people — Joel Olsteen


Let me start with a confession. Yes, I think you’re sweet — compassionate towards others, even. Yes, I genuinely consider you a friend — you are smart and well-traveled.

But, every time you launch into one of your dreary, blah-is-life tirades it sucks the living joy out of me. Like, seriously. Do you understand the depths of despair you send me plunging into? We’re talking Adele’s 21 album depressed. Lifetime channel depressed; eat-a-pint-of-ice-cream-and-a-whole-bag-of-M&Ms kind of miserable.

Let me paint a more specific picture for you. I start the conversation by saying, “lovely day, isn’t it?” You mumble back Eeyore-style, what’s so lovely about it?

Come. On.

Laughably, you think you are making an honest attempt at not being overly-negative by not responding with your true feelings, and instead throwing the question back at me; making me explain in practical details why I’m in a cheery mood. But, I don’t go there with you anymore, because you are just waiting to hit me with a negative-dunk each and every time.

Me: It’s gorgeous, the sun is out, it’s a long weekend and we don’t have to go back to work until Tuesday. Woot. Woot.

You: Umm, no. This heat is giving me a headache, and every long weekend feels just as short as any other weekend so I’m not gonna get excited about it.

You rationalize your pessimistic behavior by saying, “I can’t help who I am. I’m just keeping it real.”

Well, let me try my hand at “keeping it real.” Every time my phone rings, and your name pops up I think here we go before picking it up. (Sometimes I don’t even pick up!) I can’t brace myself enough to be zapped by your nagging negativity. It could be the smallest thing, like “I’m so sick of waking up early to go to work,” which I admit I am, too, but at least you have a job! It’s just the way you say it and how often you say these foul comments that drives me up the wall.

So, yes. I was avoiding you every time “I missed your call” or “I was in the shower” or “my phone was on silent.” Under my breath, I’m saying I can’t deal right now, and I don’t have the energy.

Sucks, right? Well, so does your attitude.

Now, to all of you reading who think I’m cruel and passive and “should just tell her/him directly,” give me a break. I already have! Can’t say that it has changed much by way of conversation but at least I’ve aired my grievances. It’s up to them to change their sucky behavior for the better.

Sadly, I let one friend know and up pops another person who just has it SO bad, always ending their posts with #FML.

You know the type.

But in case there is any doubt regarding who we’re talking about, let’s explore the common ho-hum personas these low-spirited individuals embody.

The Self-Deprecator

I’m not talking about the kind of self-deprecation that makes your co-worker appear less arrogant after bringing in $5 million worth of new business (for the third time). I’m not even talking about the fake kind of humility that makes stars like Jennifer Lawrence look like they don’t take themselves too seriously. I’m talking about the kind of self-deprecation that makes others feel awkward around you.

For example, one of my girlfriends went to the salon to get a hair-cut because she “just needed something new.” I asked her to text me a picture when she was done (all the while knowing I’d have to amp up my response because of her hard-to-please personality).

Within three seconds I text’d her back, “Yessss. You look gorgeous! Slay!!! (emoticon smiley face, hands-clapped, roses, sunshine, and two wine glasses clinked together).”

After all, I was being honest. She did look gorgeous, and I was happy for her new change. Well, she — in true soul-sucking fashion — responded with I don’t like it; I knew I shouldn’t have tried anything new. Every time I do, it never works out for me. I guess it’s cute…for a 14 year old boy.

Congratulations. Another negative-dunk on the score board for you.

The Complainer

Anything and everyone sucks. Even (and more specifically) people who are loving life. I had to sit at another table because I couldn’t stand being around their happy asses. Aint nothing that funny!

You are miserable so you get a tinge of joy when others are unhappy like you.

Even on vacation, you can’t sit at the swim-up bar drinking a tasty pina colada in the Caribbean sun without finding something to complain about. I can’t stand when they make these weak ass drinks. This has zero alcohol in it. And, that two piece she has on is showing everything, honey. It’s not that hot out.

What I know for sure — your friend has rolled their eyes at least 37 times in the 20-second span of your negative rant. Just. Let. It. Go. I promise, life is SO much more fun without that 50-pound negative chip on your shoulder.

The Victim

Or shall we call you “the denier?” You are quick to blame anything and everyone for what doesn’t go right in your life…even if you can’t prove it.

You manipulate people and the situation to get what you want. My boss hates me, I just know it. She likes everyone else in my section but I’m the only blonde so that must be it. I can tell by the way she stares at me, and she’s always so short with me. Never mind the fact that you are rude to your colleagues and make a habit of undercutting your boss during All Staff meetings. But, surre. Life sucks and your career “will never get off the ground” because…wait for it…you’re blonde.

Let’s not stop there. In fact, let’s go there. To all my victim-card-players who “wouldn’t be overweight if it wasn’t for the fact that it runs in the family,” give me a break. To make matters worse, every time you go and hang with the girls you have to chime in with “ya’ll look cute and I’m just the fat one of the group.” Solid job in scoring yet another negative-dunk while making everyone feel awkward and embarrassed for you.

To be clear, I’m not fat-shaming here. I’m pushing for a little more positivity and freedom from your prison of bad and dreadful thoughts. There are plenty of ladies out there who have a little extra love, yet are confident and FUN to be around.

Monique’s ‘Crazy In Love’ BET performance. Credit:

Their personality attracts you to them.

So, take some notes. Your aura is all wrong! Clearly, it has nothing to do with your size or what color your hair is (or isn’t) that is holding you back. It’s your penchant for gloom and doom.

Now, if you are any of these negative nightmares personified, there is a good chance the friend you call during your commute home can’t stand you. Sorry to be the first one to convey the news. They are tired of being “the positive one,” as you like to say.

Thankfully, there is still hope.

Want to learn how not to not lose a friend while living the life you’ve always wanted?

You ready for this?

Like mind and heart-open, ready?

Stop saying negative shit.

Live your days on the positive side of life, in tune with your most treasured values. And in each moment you’ll have much to live for. — Ralph Marston.