Dear Ms. Belle,
I have a friend who is currently jobless. She would always talk about her job frustrations in the past and how bad the boss had been to her. Looking back, she was one of the smart ones when we were students. Then again, she always backbit people, said that our teachers were incompetent and our classmates so stupid. Now that we are professionals, she criticizes her bosses and her colleagues at work. She can never keep a job because she thinks everyone is dumb or ignorant.
I think I am the only friend she has. She is actually pretty but has no suitors because she deems the guys that she’d meet unworthy. Although she really doesn’t say it to them I think the guys feel that she is not open to friendship. Well, she had a crush on one of our classmates then but she acted like she hated him. Even in our class outings she stayed away from him. I think he would go for her if only she weren’t so negative. And now that most of us are already married, here she is complaining about getting old. She is quite good with children but has a tendency to be impatient if the child is slow. She likes intelligent people and enjoys talking to them, but in the end she finds something negative about these people. I really pity her because she is so unhappy. I am afraid to recommend her for a job because she may cause bad relationships because of her negative attitude. How can I let my friend change? Sometimes, being with her, I catch myself having negative vibes, too.
You are a true friend. As you have been with her long enough I am sure you know where all this negativity is coming from. Are her parents or family critical of her? Was she constantly compared to others and proven wanting? The truth is that beauty and intelligence does not always equate to a good attitude towards others.
They say that if you eliminate the cause of the problem then you eliminate the problem. Perhaps as a longtime caring friend you can look at the factors that brought about her constant complaining and pessimistic outlook. When I was in my teens, I felt very insecure. I had to hide some things of myself lest I receive severe criticism from my family. Since I was an animated conversationalist, I was labeled a flirt and worst. When you are young you tend to believe things people tell you most especially elders. So I was in between an animated cartoon and a zombie when in groups. A great friend helped me get out of it. She constantly was by my side, supporting, applauding every accomplishment I made. When I was not around she speaks so glowingly well of me. I thought I was plain and unattractive, but she gave me a bikini for a birthday gift. Wearing it on the beach changed everything. It takes a great friend and maybe a bikini to lead one to the light.