struggling to stay positive working with super negative person

Sadderday

New Here
I'm a legal assistant in a small law office; about 10 people, only about 6 at a time. The receptionist is the most negative person I've ever met in my entire life, which says a lot since I grew up with a half-sister with zero self-esteem. Two of her favorite complaints are the weather and the day of the week; it's raining and I had to remind her today is Tuesday, but she's been on a roll all day. The problem is since I confessed my CPTSD, she's worse, as if she has a fellow miserable person to be miserable with! I have tried being subtle and being direct, but since it's her personality, she won't stop. What can I do to keep her cursing her out so she can stop bringing me down?!
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah it's tough I have stayed calm and patient with some super negative people.

What if you just bring it up. I believe if you have a problem with someone the best is to go to them directly. Sometimes people don't realize they are being in a type of way and a gentle push helps.

My T said sometimes she asks people if they are ok because they seem down. And it helps a lot.

Or you can just share what's helping you be more positive maybe?
 

Sadderday

New Here
Yeah it's tough I have stayed calm and patient with some super negative people.

What if you just bring it up. I believe if you have a problem with someone the best is to go to them directly. Sometimes people don't realize they are being in a type of way and a gentle push helps.

My T said sometimes she asks people if they are ok because they seem down. And it helps a lot.

Or you can just share what's helping you be more positive maybe?
I've do all of that every day, I swear! A perfect example today: she came in saying "morning, not good morning, just morning" and I said "it's a good morning to me because I'm in it!" she said "yeah, but..." and I walked away.
 
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Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I've do all of that every day, I swear! A perfect example today: she came in saying "morning, not good morning, just morning" and I said "it's a good morning to me because I'm in it!" she said "yeah, but..." and I walked away.
I worked with a guy I called the "King of Negativity" for 20 years.

Walking away is great. Pounding them with positive is fun. Start thinking of it as a joke....learn to laugh at that stuff. Or beat them to the punch and go so negative they go positive. That works OK.

But walking away is the best. Just know they will never change and their negativity will eventually eat them up.....
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I'd like to think of myself as a positive person these days, so I try to look at it from the lens of it being a unique social interaction. She's depressed, feeling down, time to practice Being Supportive! I'm also a tad too direct at times so I'd probably just straight up ask her if something specific is bothering her, but I tend to get interested in people and their problems. Shruggie.

Maybe it's the art of being 31 going on 1031, but I find it makes life a lot easier to just accept people the way they are, know that you aren't going to change them, and patiently agree to stand beside them where they are. A lot of what's happening in your interactions seems to be the result of you pushing back and fighting against what you perceive is negativity intruding in on you, and that's understandable, but I think it'd be subjectively a lot easier to just kinda float with it.
 

Sadderday

New Here
I'd like to think of myself as a positive person these days, so I try to look at it from the lens of it being a unique social interaction. She's depressed, feeling down, time to practice Being Supportive! I'm also a tad too direct at times so I'd probably just straight up ask her if something specific is bothering her, but I tend to get interested in people and their problems. Shruggie.

Maybe it's the art of being 31 going on 1031, but I find it makes life a lot easier to just accept people the way they are, know that you aren't going to change them, and patiently agree to stand beside them where they are. A lot of what's happening in your interactions seems to be the result of you pushing back and fighting against what you perceive is negativity intruding in on you, and that's understandable, but I think it'd be subjectively a lot easier to just kinda float with it.

Yeah it's tough I have stayed calm and patient with some super negative people.

What if you just bring it up. I believe if you have a problem with someone the best is to go to them directly. Sometimes people don't realize they are being in a type of way and a gentle push helps.

My T said sometimes she asks people if they are ok because they seem down. And it helps a lot.

Or you can just share what's helping you be more positive maybe?
It seems you missed the part where I am struggling with depression, have told her so, and how I try to stay positive by not dwelling on everything negative.

I worked with a guy I called the "King of Negativity" for 20 years.

Walking away is great. Pounding them with positive is fun. Start thinking of it as a joke....learn to laugh at that stuff. Or beat them to the punch and go so negative they go positive. That works OK.

But walking away is the best. Just know they will never change and their negativity will eventually eat them up.....
She's quite the Debbie Downer alright, so now I'm pretty snarky! Her: It's so cold today. Me: Funny how that happens every winter!
 
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whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
she came in saying "morning, not good morning, just morning" and I said "it's a good morning to me because I'm in it!" she said "yeah, but..." and I walked away.
I guess I look at this differently. People are often negative for a reason. I used to be very negative about everything--I was dealing with severe depression and thinking about killing myself all the time. The world--everything about it--looked dark and foreboding. I'm still dealing with depression, but I've learned that people don't care how I feel and so I keep everything to myself (doesn't really help the wanting to die thing--makes it worse, actually, I'm finding out, but...).
Pounding them with positive is fun.
It's also cruel. Speaking for myself, somebody "pounding" me with positivity makes me want to die more than I did in the first place. Not saying we are responsible for what other people do, but I do think we have a responsibility to be kind.
It seems you missed the part where I am struggling with depression, have told her so, and how I try to stay positive by not dwelling on everything negative.


She's quite the Debbie Downer alright, so now I'm pretty snarky! Her: It's so cold today. Me: Funny how that happens every winter!
I'm wondering if you have considered that she may be dealing with or have dealt with things that make her life miserable? My response to something like this would be, "yep, it sure is." That just acknowledges her observation without being sarcastic or mocking.

I agree that walking away is the best thing to do if it's making you nuts. Depending on your relationship with her, you could also ask her about it. That, though, could go either way.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I think it's probably pretty normal to not get along easily with everyone in the workplace. That's okay - good relationships at work are bonus. I'm primarily there to make a living, not to make make friends. So, the people I don't get along with so well, I keep it superficial and professional.

I agree with @arfie that deliberately provoking colleagues isn't a great thing to do. It's not professional. And it goes without saying that, given the prevalence of mental illness, I'm definitely not the only person at work that's trying to function alongside a mental health issue.

That doesn't mean being extra nice to people who make my life difficult. Keeping things 'professional', for me, is a nice middle ground - it gives me a solid guide to where healthy boundaries should be, and how to navigate the more difficult workplace relationships as they arise.
 

Sadderday

New Here
I guess I look at this differently. People are often negative for a reason. I used to be very negative about everything--I was dealing with severe depression and thinking about killing myself all the time. The world--everything about it--looked dark and foreboding. I'm still dealing with depression, but I've learned that people don't care how I feel and so I keep everything to myself (doesn't really help the wanting to die thing--makes it worse, actually, I'm finding out, but...).

It's also cruel. Speaking for myself, somebody "pounding" me with positivity makes me want to die more than I did in the first place. Not saying we are responsible for what other people do, but I do think we have a responsibility to be kind.

I'm wondering if you have considered that she may be dealing with or have dealt with things that make her life miserable? My response to something like this would be, "yep, it sure is." That just acknowledges her observation without being sarcastic or mocking.

I agree that walking away is the best thing to do if it's making you nuts. Depending on your relationship with her, you could also ask her about it. That, though, could go either way.
dearest whiteraven: know that I empathize with your past depression is because I suffer from it each and every day, and one of my very effective tools is if I feel someone is trying to bring me down on purpose is to ignore them, including your response assuming I'm ignorant to how she feels and outright calling me cruel, even though "pounding posivity" was in someone else's response.
 
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Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
Ultimately you can't control other people's behavior. The only thing about this situation you can control is your actions. You cannot make her stop being negative, so you have to frame it differently for yourself or exit the circumstance somehow. That's all anyone here is going to be able to tell you. No one is calling you names, or judging you, we're just telling it like we see it.
 
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