Social quandary: How to deal with a 'negative Nancy'

My friend is constantly complaining about something, and her negativity affects my mood.

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Have you found yourself in an awkward situation? Has someone irked you and you’re not sure how best to proceed? If so, you’re not alone! Every week, we feature a reader-submitted quandary so that you can weigh in with your best advice. What would you do in their situation? If you’d like to submit your own quandary, click here.

I live in an apartment above a shop and share the rooftop patio space with three other units. I get along really well with my neighbours, and recently my friend moved into one of the units – making her one of my neighbours, too. I spend a lot of my time outdoors on the patio tending to the veggie patch, and just relaxing in the sun. My friend also likes hanging outside on the patio, so we’ve been spending a lot more time together.

The problem is that my friend is a total ‘negative Nancy’. She’s always complaining or whining about something, from the mundane (“ugh, the line at the bank machine was so long”, “the meal I ordered was too salty”, “that coffee was way too hot”) to her personal life (“so mad I have to waste a Saturday going to her kid’s birthday party”, “my boring cousin is coming to visit and I have to show him around for the week). More and more, I’m noticing that most things that come out of her mouth are negative comments – and I can’t stand it anymore!

I never noticed how much she complains – probably because I never saw her as often as I do now. I don’t want to give up spending time on the patio just to avoid her negativity, but hanging out with her has become not only annoying, but draining. She’s also a little sensitive, so I’m not sure how she’ll react if I tell her exactly how I feel. What’s the best way to handle this situation?

Please comment below and help this reader with your feedback. To view more comments to this quandary on Facebook, click here and go to August 11th.

Read our previous social quandaries here.