Encountering a Negative Nancy
November 22, 2017 12:36am CST
Have you ever met anyone who made you sorry you asked how they're doing whenever you see them? My Great Aunt Dora was like that. So is this acquaintance of mine who I met through my boyfriend (though he doesn't even know her that well), who I mainly know through Facebook. Anytime I run into her in public, she starts in on all her current woes as soon as I ask "How are you?" I will get stuck there for an hour listening to her lament about how horrible her life is. Today I happened to run into her right as I was leaving the restroom in the library. She asked how I was and even though I've had plenty of bad stuff going on, I replied that I was okay, then returned the question. And she just about broke down over her horrible week. I felt bad for her, but I really am not emotionally equipped to comfort anyone in a public bathroom. She did have a pretty rotten week, but it's like this every time I run into her. It's always something. I always figure that people don't really want to hear about my problems, so when asked, I always respond that I'm okay. I guess it's my own fault for asking, since I should know by now that with her, nothing is ever okay. It's gotten to where I cringe if I see this gal and hope that something will call her attention away from me. Do you know anyone like that? How do you handle your interactions with them?
4 people like this
Oh yes I have encountered people like that. I always guard my time and thoughts when around such kind of people. Its so easy to get lost in their sea of negativity you won't even notice how much precious time you've lost. Plus, I can't take too much negativity, its just so toxic as if they're stealing your energy. I just have to find a polite way out, less you want to be trapped in their company.
• Calgary, Alberta
Every member of my family is like that. That is the reason why I moved to Canada and stay away from them. I do love my parents and siblings but it is better for them and for me to be away from them.
• Riga, Latvia
It sounds like she just wants everyone to feel sorry for her. She doesn't seem to realize that many people are even worse off. I would think that if you could it would be good to avoid her and if you cannot then the next time you see her say you are sorry but you are in a real hurry and just dash off. Just saying.
• United States
That's a good idea. And yes, she does want everyone to feel sorry for her. Even on Facebook she is always carrying on about some drama...like she blows even the littlest thing out of proportion and makes it sound like a catastrophe. I unfollowed her a while back because I got sick of constantly seeing it.
• Olney, Illinois
I've known a few like that. Myself, I usually answer "How have you been doing?" with "Not worth a damn but I'll survive" and leave it at that. I've learned that there are certain people I know that I just won't ask them that question unless I have a half-hour to kill.
• United States
That's a good response. I guess I need to remember not to ask certain people how they're doing -- it's just a unconscious response that slips out after someone asks me how I've been, and then as soon as it's left my mouth (with this person, anyway) I am internally kicking myself.