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Negative Nelly's


Hi gals, I just had to share this with you. Today I went to my Dr. office for rx refill. An older lady with a walker sat across from me. She had a boot cast on and I moved my tote bag out of the way and smiled at her. Very casually, I just said "oh my, that looks painful". She was silent for a few moments. Then she began to speak. And did not stop.

Little did I know the can of negative worms I opened by this one little comment. Wow!!! This lady went on and on and on about all the horrible things in her life. I mean EVERYTHING. She fell and everything is the Dr's fault. Her meds are all wrong. She's not eating. Her neighbors are too nosy and ask how she's doing. She can't get around. She had to change pharmacies. She doesn't like her pain medication. Her neighbor thinks she's on too many painkillers. She got into a car accident and the insurance company is conspiring against her. Kids hit her car with soccer balls so she has to park in visitor parking. Someone keyed her car on both sides while in visitor parking. She hates this, that and everything in between.

It was the longest 30 minute wait of my life. I tried to be calm and soothing and inject some humor into the convo but she was having none of it.

I think some people live to be unhappy about everything. It was so draining - I literally jumped out of my seat when my name was called and wished her good luck and a speedy recovery. I was so glad to get out of that situation lol.

I can only imagine how incredibly physically draining it must be to BE so negative in life since I felt so drained just listening to it for 30 minutes.

Jun 21, 2016 @ 02:32 am

9 Replies



I feel bad for someone to have all that negativity in their life. Bless your heart for listening to her for the whole time.
Jun 21, 2016 @ 08:23 am


I think often this happens (and especially in old people) because they NEVER have anyone to listen to them, they feel ignored, in pain and bitter and once someone is kind enough to listen BAM out comes everything.

It really, sucks that it was so draining for you, but honestly, maybe she feels much better after getting it out. I think it's so hard when you're stuck in a cycle of negativity, because everyone feels it's your fault, but sometimes it is really just terrible.

That being said, I know some people who've been accused of being negative in the past, but are legitamately suffering...and some like my sister who just complain non-stop but actually refuses to try and change anything or be grateful for the slightest little thing...and being around that a lot, is very, very draining.
Jun 21, 2016 @ 08:30 am


I was just talking about the same thing this morning. As a commute, I sit with the same people all the time and one lady never has anything nice to say she complains about everyone and everything I just usually smile and listen. I feel sorry for people that are like that I always try to find the positive in everyone and every situation
Jun 21, 2016 @ 09:18 am


Your ears must be ringing. Yikes.

While working with the elderly, I run into my fair share of Nelly :)...it can suck the life right out of me, but like some of the other chicks mentioned, she may have been lonely, and likely nobody listens to her, especially if this is her regular approach. Hopefully you let some of the wind out of her sails, and reduced her blood pressure.

A little life tip, when this happens to me, if it's a repeat offender who just never has anything positive to say, I pull my phone out of my scrubs, and say "I'm so sorry, I need to take this call" and leave the room. I also don't ask "how are you doing?" , I'll comment "you look very nice today".
Jun 21, 2016 @ 09:39 am


It's sad to hear so many ppl have similar experiences. I hope I'm not old and bitter later in life. It's so taxing on the body and mind and soul. I try to be as positive as possible, sometimes it's hard - I am chronically ill myself so I know how it feels when life just drags you down all the time, but for the most part I try to be thankful for the things I can still do and try not to focus on all the bad changes in my life and the things I cant do (like eat). Otherwise it would be a pretty miserable existance imo. For example, last night it was our one year wedding anniversary and we went out for dinner. I can't exactly bring in my meal replacement shake so I tried something on the menu that might make me less sick after eating it and just tried to have fun and enjoy my husband and celebrate. Mind you, I was sick as hell after I got home and had to take prescription nausea meds but, whatever. At least I had time with my love and he got to eat his fav bleu cheese steak.
@Wendy - first of all, bless your beautiful heart for working with the elderly. You are an incredible person who makes a difference on a daily basis. And secondly, those are awesome suggestions that I will use next time the life and joy is being sucks out of me for any great length of time LOL
PS - The other reason I try to be positive in life is purely selfish. I would rather have smile wrinkles than frown wrinkles hehehe
Jun 21, 2016 @ 01:04 pm


I find all that negativity can be so draining! On the other hand, maybe she trusted to confide in you because you were the first friendly face she'd seen in a long time? If so, you should be happy you might have helped her to vent a few issues. I think we need to try to see the positive even in the negative, if that makes any sense!
Jun 21, 2016 @ 01:42 pm


I work with a few people like that - I find spewing out rainbows and unicorns generally shuts them down and they have no response as positivity is logical

Jun 21, 2016 @ 05:13 pm


I agree with @crystaljam. Listening to negativity can really bring you down so I always try to let them see the positive side and don't let it affect me too much. If it starts to feel draining, I'll excuse myself.

I do feel bad for her though. She probably dumped everything on you because she might not have had anyone else to talk to about all her troubles and sometimes, a complete stranger will do. It's better than keeping it all inside but I understand, it can be a drag to have to listen to. At least you were polite and considerate of her feelings.

Jun 22, 2016 @ 11:32 pm


LOL I love the way you phrased that - spewing out rainbows and unicorns haha!
Unfortunately, I don't even think rainbows and unicorns would have helped this poor lady. I said every positive thing I could think of and was very empathetic and nothing... just more negativity. Oh well, like some of you said, she likely has pushed people away in her life and just unloaded on the first lucky person who talked to her and didn't run for their life.
Jun 23, 2016 @ 05:40 am

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