Life: Dear Negative Nancy (and Debbie Downer)

I used to have a friend who would treat every bad thing that happened to her like it was the end of the world. The rest of us in the friend circle would screen her calls and texts because we all knew she was on the war path to take us all down with her. Now, I know what you could say: “Alex, if your friend is that upset, why aren’t you there for her, supporting her?” Trust me, I was! I was always there when she needed me, rain or shine, day or night. However, how many times can you be there for a person who always tries to bring you down to their negative level? How many times can you let them say hurtful things to you just to make themselves feel better?

I used to think that every situation would blow over, I would go back to being happy and my friend would be happy again, too. However, it wasn’t until my sister stopped me from talking on day in the car to say, “Have you noticed that you haven’t been able to say one positive thing since you got in the car?” I couldn’t believe it, she was right. My head was stuck in such a negative cloud that I couldn’t see how I was letting it spread like a virus to the people around me.

So, what happened to this friend of mine? I wish I had a happy ending to share, but it’s not the case. The rest of my friend circle and I tried to help my friend out. We talked with her openly about how her attitude affected all of us in some way. Now we didn’t do this like an intervention, which is what it sounds like, but we all did this separately as to not overwhelm the girl. However, instead of taking it in and listening to what we were saying, she tried to spread nasty gossip and rumors about each other to make us enemies, rather than friends. I’m happy to say that this didn’t work as my friends and I are open with one another and aren’t afraid to be honest about how we feel. As for the Negative Nancy, she made new friends, and I hope she’s able to see the good in the world when things are tough.

So dear Negative Nancy (or Debbie Downer depending on the day),

Thank you for this life lesson. I’ve learned that my attitude can affect the people around me in both positive and negative ways. You’re the reason why I try to go into every day with a positive mind and outlook so I can spread happiness to the people I interact with. It’s better not to dwell on the bad, and to look at the goodness that surrounds me daily. Thank you for being a part of my life because I learned more than I thought I would from you.

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