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How do you deal with negative people?

(37 Posts)
ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 16:24:57

How do you deal with someone who, everytime you see them, just comes up to you and starts moaning about anything and everything?

It's someone that I can't avoid as she is my DD's best friend's mum and I see her on the school run every day, and also socially as little as possible.

She never ever has a positive word to say about anything. Today she was moaning as she's spent the whole day doing housework and is now tired.

It's draining....

Smilesandpiles Thu 13-Mar-14 16:43:33

"Sorry love, can't stop I'm in a rush" and off you go.

ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 16:44:32

That's a bit difficult though when we're waiting outside the classroom for the kids to come out, and she comes to stand with me. I can't really run off if DD is still in school grin

gamerchick Thu 13-Mar-14 16:44:36


Smilesandpiles Thu 13-Mar-14 16:45:24

Ah, in that case.

Smile and nod, make the right noises and think about what you are having for dinner instead.

susiedaisy Thu 13-Mar-14 16:49:57

Smile nod and then start a conversation about something else. Don't respond to her moaning otherwise it becomes a competition of who is most tired/busy etc. most people will give up if you don't respond to their negativity. Or ask her if she's ok as she's seems to be fed up a lot. Some people really don't realise they are moaning.

ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 16:50:45

She also sometimes turns up at my house for a coffee during the day, uninvited, then just comes in and talks "at" me for an hour about her problems.

ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 16:51:24

susie, if I start a conversation about anything else she still manages to turn it into a moan. Someone could give her a million quid and she'd still find something to moan about.

susiedaisy Thu 13-Mar-14 16:58:55

Does everyone else avoid her?

Mrswellyboot Thu 13-Mar-14 16:59:21

I sadly had to cut them out. I know you can't do that though. It took me years before I realised I was coming away from meeting her in bad humour myself. She would moan that her nanny left the windows streaky!!! Her MIL didn't help with childcare despite doing three days a week for the first year, her SIL, most colleagues.

She drove me insane. But I said nothing. But then she started saying thins like my dh was mean with money (he's not but doesn't drink), that I could have secondary infertility (4 weeks after my baby .. Wasnt even trying)

I couldn't hack it anymore.

Maybe you could try 'ah it's good to see the good in things' or 'I believe we an control out own happiness' etc etc, I wonder would she get the message ?

susiedaisy Thu 13-Mar-14 17:03:29

Unless she's desperate for help and is trying to reach out. I would phase her out.

ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 17:21:25

I don't think she's desperate for help. I think it's more a case of she's quite spoilt by her parents and they pander to her a lot so she can't cope with everyday stuff as she thinks it's beneath her, or something like that anyway.

I'm not sure if others avoid her. No one has ever said as much but I don't really get involved in any schoolgate politics so I guess they wouldn't say it to me anyway. She's never surrounded by hoardes of people but equally does seem to have a hectic social life. I think she hangs round with much younger people though (early 20s, she is late 30s).

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Mar-14 17:33:14

My former lodger was a hypochondriac. One day after listening to her alleged illnesses and various whacky cures (don't get me started on the Chinese herbal medicine) for a few hours I lost patience and said

"But there's nothing really wrong with you is there?"

That shut the miserable woman up. So that's my suggestion... challenge the woes and stop being a shoulder to cry on.

ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 17:40:01

I posted about this on a facebook group that I am a member of and just received a total pasting, saying that I was unreasonable and all this "poor woman" needs is a few minutes of my time each day (yeah, to be an emotional leech).

AngelaDaviesHair Thu 13-Mar-14 17:56:11

Turns up uninvited and vents, huh?

Ask questions. E.g. 'So what are you going to do about it?' 'Why's that?' 'Do you think so?' 'Why can't you let him do it?' 'What's the worst that could happen, though?' Be polite, but very persistently questioning. It is a good way to challenge what the person is saying (if you keep it up) without being rude.

Thing is, people like this are often rude themselves in that they are using you to vent on, entertain them without giving you anything in return or thinking about whether it suits you to be made to listen in that way. As long as you let her in, listen passively and never assert yourself, nothing will change, she will keep imposing. If you start being a less malleable and convenient audience, she might not.

jayho Thu 13-Mar-14 18:00:31

I was going to say exactly what Angela said. I work with someone like this and have recently started challenging them, I say 'why' and 'what are you going to do', they usually go off on one about how they can't do anything and I just turn into a four year old saying 'why', 'why'

It is tailing off, definitely works a treat grin

ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 18:03:03

Good ideas there. I'll start challenging the things that she says. I wonder if it might also help if I start trying to make things into positives when she starts moaning?

Viviennemary Thu 13-Mar-14 18:07:30

Stop moaning about people. grin. I find really cheerful people annoying. Just avoid her when you can as she's obviously not your type.. She shouldn't be calling on you uninvited though.

scottishmummy Thu 13-Mar-14 18:09:57

You'll not change her gloomy disposition,but you don't need to be burdened by it
Smile,and let it wash over you,maybe she's a glass half empty disposition

ScarletStar Thu 13-Mar-14 18:13:53

Have you heard of the term 'energy vampire?' It's just a freaky way of describing someone who drains you of all your energy. I find these people very hard to deal with and therefore just avoid as much as possible. If you do come in contact with them, smile brightly when they moan, rudely interrupt them and say something like 'ooh what a gorgeous day!'

Another term I saw on the internet was 'Askhole - a person who constantly asks for advice and never takes it.' grin I hate people playing the 'yeah, but' game with me.

ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 18:15:44

Haha yes I'd describe her as an energy vampire and as an askhole!

hunreeeal Thu 13-Mar-14 18:18:11

Housework can be tiring though. She obviously feels comfortable enough with you to be honest about the everyday stuff. In some ways that's a compliment! But it sounds as if you just don't like her, so smile and say a quick hello, then be on your way to whatever you're doing next.

ikeaaddict Thu 13-Mar-14 18:21:02

I wouldn't mind the moaning if she ever listened to a word I say, but she doesn't. She just reels off a list of things she wants to moan about every time I see her. I can barely get a word in edgeways and if I say anything she doesn't listen and just turns things round to being about her again and how tired/ill/fed up/busy she is.

jayho Thu 13-Mar-14 18:28:03

I love askhole, will use that at work grin

hunreeeal Thu 13-Mar-14 18:31:38

Yes that does make sense OP. I had a friend who often complained, but if anyone did the same back she'd moan about them doing so, because she "had enough problems of her own"! The friendship ended for other reasons though. She was moaning about me as well as everything else!

I really dislike forced positivity for its own sake, and fair-weather friends, but in your situation I do understand what you mean. It doesn't sound like a reciprocal friendship if she wouldn't be willing to listen to you at all.

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