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To not understand why some people instantly make negative comments?(40 Posts)
...When you share some news/a life update?
It’s not necessarily overtly nasty comments, they’re ‘jokey’ negative ones. For example, when telling friends that DS has secured a (great) job in a particular line of work ‘god, is he mad?!’ or ‘well, he’s got his work cut out!’ rather than a simple ‘that’s great news’?
When telling people you’re pregnant, you receive replies like ‘well I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into!’ and ‘it’s not easy you know!’ rather than ‘congratulations.’
Even smaller things like saying you’re going on holiday to a certain place, you get someone who says ‘god you wouldn’t catch me going there.’
And these usually come from people who are, on the whole, friendly and nice... If they can’t think of anything to say why don’t people just give a simple ‘that’s fantastic!’ rather than instantly saying something negative?
In my experience it seems to usually be because of two things.
Some people are just negative and can only see the negative in everything and that spills out into everything they say.
Other people are jealous of anyone else in their life doing something nice so they have to put a negative spin on it to make themselves feel better.
I work with people like this! It drives me crazy, but I've put it down to jealousy.
They also can't bear anyone disagreeing with them - I tend to agree with most things they say just for an easy life.
Some people are just negative and can only see the negative in everything and that spills out into everything they say
My mum is like this... a total Eeyore. No matter what the news or info you give her, the first thing out of her mouth will be a negative.
It's a kind of deprecating humour that's really prevalent in Britain, possibly crossed with depression or at least an upbringing where expressing joy was not looked upon very well.
My dad is like this but his environment as a child was really oppressive (legacy of religion) and he's depressed. He thinks he's being funny but it's totally deflating every time.
They’re either cynical pessimists or they’re bitter and jealous.
I get this from my mum and it breaks me! When we told her last year we were expecting our baby (first grandchild) we received nothing but "jokes" about how hard it would be and to not expect any help. She then didn't mention the pregnancy again.
You've just described my mother in law. I could tell her I won the lottery and she would eye roll and say "well you've not earned it". She's just a bitter old witch.
Got engaged - "thought you were going to wait"
Got pregnant - "well, that's interesting"
Got married - "well how much will this cost me?" (Nothing, thanks.)
Got a new job - "well I hope you know what you're doing"
Bought a new house - "well, it's ok"
OP take note of these people and remind yourself not to include them when you’re sharing your news in future. You don’t need them to know. You certainly don’t need their negative commentary. If possible avoid them altogether, but if not then just be selective in what you say in front of them.
my friend came up to me the other day and said - "you were the only one who said congratulations on my new job!"
In all her leaving cards it was as above - "hope you know what you are doing", "we need you here", "out of the frying pan into the fire", "hope the grass is greener" etc.
No plain and simple congratulations for her moving to a new job. No excitement, no pure joy that she has achieved something and is happy.
I have a friend like this. We've known each other since childhood and I do consider her a good friend but I've learned not to share good news or plans with her as it always elicits a negative response.
When I got a job in a country I'd always dreamed of living in she listed a host of unpleasant reasons she'd never live there (didn't stop her visiting and staying with me multiple times). When a new job brought me back to the U.K. a few years later she said I was coming back at the worst possible time as the country was in crisis, "it's not the England you grew up in" etc. I settled back fine.
I stopped telling her anything for ages but recently had a relapse and told her her how excited I am to finally sell my flat and buy a house with a garden and more space for the DC. Cue a sharp intake of breath and warnings about the area I'm moving to. I'm sure she'll find a list of problems with the house which is why I haven't responded to her latest message asking me for a link to it on Rightmove.
DH used to be like this - I eventually begged him to just say one fucking positive thing as his first reply and told him he could be as negative as he liked for remarks 2, 3 etc. He doesn't do it now I think he honestly didn't realise he was being so miserable!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
My whole family is like this. And I used to be too, less so as I became self aware and then when I had dc trained myself out of it because I was aware how toxic it was.
It was basically how my brain worked, trained from years of hearing it from my parents. I would see the problems and risks from any situation, and for a long time struggled with any social situations because although I knew it wasn’t appropriate to respond that way, I couldn’t bring anything else to mind to say.
I’m much more positive now, and it’s almost a natural response. Sometimes I overshoot and am positive when sympathy is required, and sometimes the negativity still slips out if I’m not careful.
I really cringe when I hear it from others now though.
This really bothers me too, I don't understand how even a generally negative person can't just say 'that's great!' Or 'congratulations'.
I have family members who feel the need to pass some sort of comment on everything, like I sent a short video of my 4yo riding her new bike and the reply was 'use the brakes not her feet'- she very clearly did use the brake anyway but why not a 'she's doing great!', or when they saw my newborn the first thing they said was 'you wonder how anyone can hurt them', not 'congratulations' or 'he's lovely, how are you doing?'.
Then there's my mil... let her know I'd had dc2, he'd been quite ill but was off special care and coming home. She asked what day he'd been born, made a PA comment about not being invited to stay with us and hasn't spoken to us since.
If your parents only spoke to you like that, your inner voice is negative and that's what comes out. It's training.
You can retrain yourself, I did to some extent as both my parents are inherently negative. There will always be a part of me that thinks the negative thing but I really find it easy now to say something nice.
The worst is when there is no reaction, like the person is thinking something bad but deliberately saying nothing. I find that so hard.
Going home is not a joy, as you can imagine.
That’s it codenameduchess, I don’t understand what would possess somebody to say anything other than ‘congratulations’ even if it’s not what you’re thinking in your head! I do get that seemingly positive events can turn out badly, but really is that what the person who has just told me she’s getting married wants to hear?
Very interesting to hear your story Kubo, and great that you’ve managed to overcome this. Sometimes I am an overly positive person who showers people with nice comments which can be just as bad as being overly negative - like you, I’ve sometimes offered positivity when it wasn’t the right time.
My DM is like it and she is honestly a very lovely woman. When I pull her up on it, she’s instantly apologetic and embarrassed. I remember telling her I’d achieved a first-class degree and she said ‘who did you copy your essays off to get that?!’ When I responded angrily she was really embarrassed, apologised and told me how proud she was of me and that it was a joke. But for me I’d just never think to say something like that in the first place...
This annoys me! My ex MIL was like this, when I told her I was pregnant with DC2 she just replied “why?”. I’m glad I don’t have anything to do with her anymore
I think folk equate positivity with stupidity, so they say negative things as it makes them sound cleverer and wiser.
Those folk are wrong!
I hear you OP my Gran was like this a lot (still is) - she and my Grandfather raised me but he died before I did my GCSE’s. Nobody in our family up until that point had passed more than three subjects and I got mostly A’s and B’s. I was so proud of myself and handed her the results only for her to glance at them, state that I’d failed maths (I’m dyslexic and have severe issues with numeracy but no mention of my A’s in English!) and then she went to put them in a draw with loads of other paperwork. I demanded them back from her and never mentioned it again. I don’t know why it happens, I think it’s from people who want to ‘bring people back down to Earth’ when really they’re just using it as an excuse to be a misery guts.
Since that day (as much of a cynic as I am at heart) I do my best to go with positivity when hearing good news from others.
My DM was just like that. She was very unhappy . It was her default.I started jokily calling her on it, saying Debbie Downer strikes again, as I knew a serious conversation would only lead to denial & tantrums. Humour is the best tactic, you feel empowered while they can't go into victim or aggression mode or they look like they can't take a joke. It also doesn't 'reward' the dig with a hurt reaction which is what subconsciously, they're looking for.
Someone said to me once that negative, nasty people are hiding the fact they are a deeply unhappy person inside. I think they were right tbh
My parents and my inlaws are pessimistic; the negativity has rubbed off as I tend to be the same too I'm afraid( but mostly just think it rather than say it to be fair)
If I want to do anything, I can usually find lots of reasons not to as well but then I'm smug when I'm right and it doesn't go according to plan , just as I predicted in my own head! You tend to be more negative as you get older I think and doing anything takes longer to achieve ( or just exhausting thinking about it)
I can really relate to this and posted a similar thread today as when DP does something nice (buy flowers) other people assume its for an ulterior motive or make sarky comments. I think jealousy is definitely part of it but yes there are a lot of negative people about, why cant people just to happy for others?
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