This post is in response to a question from a serious leader. She is all about improvement and bringing out the best, both at work and at home. She says:
I have a good friend of many years. In the last couple years, she’s grown to become a negative and unhappy person. We no longer spend much time together, mostly because she is so negative and there is no longer much common ground between us. If I can change this, I would like to do so. How?
Great question! We asked several people their experience of dealing with similar situations to the question our friend posed. Here are their answers. Any necessary context has been included too.
1. One of my co-workers is a habitual complainer. She is a person who cares about others, just like me. It can be hard for me, and I think for other people to see how inside, she’s a thoughtful, caring person who loves others and wants to see them succeed. I look for that part of her and focus on that. I look beyond the other stuff.
2. I am “friends” with people on facebook who are really negative. So I just hide them and don’t have to see their stuff in my news feed. I do not dislike them but I can choose what I “listen to.”
3. For me, it’s about being true to myself. I know that Momma loves me, she just has a weird way of saying those three words. The other night on the phone I thought I was going to lose control with every word she said. Especially when I told her how happy I was now that I’ve been taking personal responsibility for my own choices and she said “you’d better get off of your high horse, missy!” It was in that moment I realized there was nothing I needed to do to change my mother. All I needed to do was to be her daughter. I simply said, “Momma, if you ever see me on my high horse and acting rude or arrogant, will you please let me know? I don’t want to be that way.” For several poignant seconds, there was absolute silence on the phone. My mother changed the subject after that and we had a delightful conversation.
4. For more learning on this subject, consult appendix H in the TRP Participant Workbook (revised workbook pages 80-82).
We’d love to hear from you. What do you do with unhappy people, what works for you?