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How to handle someone who is always negative and moany

(28 Posts)
Scootergrrrl Mon 11-Jul-11 20:06:01

As part of a committee in our very small village, there is one woman who is ALWAYS moaning and negative about everything. She spends most of her time shouting at one of her children and the rest of the time complaining. She also has a martyr thing going on and quite often threatens to walk out or stop being part of the group when things don't go the way she wants. I think she does have good intentions but she's also quite abrupt and is starting to rub people up the wrong way. Is there a way to manage behaviour like this does anyone think, or it it inevitable that she's never going to be a ray of sunshine?

Scootergrrrl Mon 11-Jul-11 20:57:41


Jacksmania Mon 11-Jul-11 20:58:52

<marking place as I know one of these, too>

onepieceofcremeegg Mon 11-Jul-11 20:59:42

Ignore as much as possible. If you feel you have to respond make it a vague,pleasant comment. It is utterly wearing isn't it when people are so negative?

Scootergrrrl Mon 11-Jul-11 20:59:58

<got all excited as thought I had a proper answer grin>

Scootergrrrl Mon 11-Jul-11 21:00:22

Ooo, did have a proper answer!

DirtyStopOut Mon 11-Jul-11 21:01:07

We have a friend like this - we now just ignore her as it's simply too exhausting to be around her. SHe's like a black hole sucking the life out of everyone around her. As I said - exhausting.

Jacksmania Mon 11-Jul-11 21:01:28

Sorry Scootergirl blush

onepieceofcremeegg Mon 11-Jul-11 21:02:43

There is a woman like this at dd's school. (thankfully not on any committees or the pa with me!)
Even saying good morning or making a pleasant, cheery remark about the weather seems to wind her up. At every opportunity she wants to whinge and whine about her health/her unreasonable husband/how terrible the school is etc.
I did try hard to discuss things with her, but I gave up long ago. Cheery and chirpy is the only way. "lovely weekend wasn't it x?" Smile broadly and walk off as she starts to moan.

Scootergrrrl Mon 11-Jul-11 21:03:00

Only joking - I can see why anyone who has to deal with someone like this would be looking for help too!

onepieceofcremeegg Mon 11-Jul-11 21:03:50

Oh and don't get me started about her self indulgent and negative fb posts. grin
She can whinge better than my 3 year old and that's some achievement!

Scootergrrrl Mon 11-Jul-11 21:05:25

Cremeegg - are we atually talking about the same person? Mine does this too and then gets horribly offended when no one responds to her 43th moaning post of the day!

onepieceofcremeegg Mon 11-Jul-11 21:08:09

Quite possibly! Are you in the Midlands?
Over recent days we have had complaints of her dc's school report and how she will be going to see the Head (^again^) to complain.
(as a response, although of course she doesn't know - I have bought dd a card to give the Head at the end of term! He is a fantastic man, very dedicated and puts many extra hours in)

She also complains loudly and openly about her dh's faults. I just find that horribly disloyal and unpleasant.

MynameisnotEarl Mon 11-Jul-11 21:12:30

I have a colleague like this and I know how extremely draining it is. I just try not to engage now, and I agree with onepiece, short & sweet is the way.

She also has daily rants - single mums, immigrants, university fees, etc etc ad nauseam. I ignore as much as possible and don't get involved - she will manipulate whatever you say until you agree with her - anything else just isn't acceptable to her.

Assertiveness training has helped me tremendously. I now have self-awareness, people like this have none.

Scootergrrrl Mon 11-Jul-11 21:49:31

Cremeegg - no, we are in the north.

And I think you've hit the nail on the head, earl. She really doesn't seem to be aware of how her behaviour will make people respond to her. Moaning about having no friends will not make them magically appear! Any coping strategies for dealing with them in meetings?

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Mon 11-Jul-11 21:53:28

How about throwing your head down on the table with bang and saying "Oh. My. GOD. Will you stop whinging about everything. You suck the joy right out of the room."

Or you could fantasise about doing that while you do the slightly less aggressive ignoring of the whinging. Like you would with a toddler. Ignore the bad, reward the good. grin

And if she wants to walk - what's the problem with that? It's very manipulative behaviour and she shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.

iklboo Mon 11-Jul-11 22:00:33

Apart from telling her 'I hear what you're saying and it sounds like (whiny voice) mer mer mer mer mer mer, poor me, mer mer mer mer mer mer, nobody wuvs me', I got nothing grin

Scootergrrrl Mon 11-Jul-11 22:09:10

(goes into happy dream of using either of the above approaches grin)

She certainly could be allowed to just walk away but I think she does actually WANT to be a part of what we are doing, and that it's one of the only things she enjoys (apart from moaning....) but it's getting to the stage now where even the chairman is metaphorically banging her head against the wall so she doesn't have to listen any more. That makes Mrs Moanypants go all "don't mind me, it's not as if my opinion counts for anything, no one ever listens to me" and me go all "aaaaaarrrgggghhhhhhh SHUT UP " (inside my head, obviously grin)

MynameisnotEarl Tue 12-Jul-11 19:30:12

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of effort to deal with people like this if you don't have the luxury of just walking away.

Passive aggressive behaviour needs heading off in another direction before it gains momentum.

Change the subject, distract them with personal comments "Oh, I like your dress, where did you get it?" or "You look a bit peaky today, are you feeling all right?" both have worked for me grin

And, as TheMagnificentBathykolpian said, ignore the bad & reward the (rare) good.

Easier said than done, and needs a lot of mental energy.

PonceyMcPonce Tue 12-Jul-11 19:34:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PaperBank Wed 13-Jul-11 20:22:11

She could be masking shyness. Some people use moaning as a way to try to bond with others. I think it demonstrates insecurity (and let's face it, which of us doesn't have a bit of that sometimes?) If you can show her that she has been heard it will then be easier to change the subject. You don't have to agree, you just say it's always so interesting to hear what she thinks about things, and then move on to the weather!

colditz Wed 13-Jul-11 20:25:23

Polly-Anna at them until they give up moaning and piss off.

redexpat Wed 27-Jul-11 23:07:21

Is she a dementor? Point your wand at her and shout expecto patronus! [hgrin]

redexpat Wed 27-Jul-11 23:07:49

oh the smiley didnt work grin

newgirl Wed 27-Jul-11 23:12:10

in wonder if paperbank is right? people moan as a bonding thing and then don't really know another way?

one of the mums at school is like this and it is such hard work.

ive heard that some people are 'radiators' and others are 'drains' (on energy). I think that is true and does make me stop and think if I am about to say something very negative.

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