Are you a false positive friend?
We live in a world filled with false-positive people. These people are sometimes a detriment to their friends. In this time of the just be positive movement, others are not always given room to just be…be angry, be sad, be frustrated. They are only given room to be happy or positive.
Recently, I was listening to a friend who said, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be negative.” I replied with, “You are not negative. You are telling me how you feel and what happened to you. That is real life.” I realized she had been told the same things many of us are told when we share a discouraging situation we experienced; “That is negative. Focus on the positive, and it will be okay.” (Phrases may vary.)
This year I came up with the phrase, false positive. Now, obviously, it has been used before, that is, in the medical world. It is a medical reference to a test coming back positive for a condition when, in reality, there is no condition present. In this case, it is the act of faking positivity when the condition is not present.
Friend or Foe?
Being false positive is not being true to you or your friends. It is not reality. I have always been a realist. If your friend’s mom is in the hospital, he or she has a right to be upset and filled with all sorts of emotions. When someone wrongs you or causes you distress, you may need to talk about it because you are not sure what just happened. Your mind takes you on a journey of emotions, trying to decipher what occurred.
Stop telling people to just be positive and focus on gratitude. It’s the worst thing you can say to someone having a bad day or going through a rough time. It can wear on a friendship, if not ruin it altogether. True friends let their friends have strong emotions. Amazing friends help them get through.
Have you been around those types of people? The ones who tell you to focus on the positive or tell you that what you’re saying is negative, and you can’t bring positive into your life by sharing the negative? Oh, I love the phrase; “That’s what you attracted.” Not.
Which one are you?
After much experimentation and experience, I learned that people need real friends who empathize with them, call them on their stuff, or allow them to feel their emotions before helping them move on. It certainly makes me feel better when I’m allowed to share my feelings. Friends, who understand, help me to move past certain situations. Here are a few types of friends that have been a blessing to me. See if you have any friends like this:
1. The friend who says, “Oh, that sucks! You don’t need that.”
This person allows you to be upset and validates your emotions, which somehow makes it all seem better.
2. The friend who allows you to talk about it and talks about it with you for a bit.
Then, they help bring you out of it with a trip to the coffee shop or with ice cream. This person also allows you to be upset and gives you the outlet you need to work through what happened. Then, they help ease you out of it.
3. The friend who can show you either the silliness in it all with a kind and fun chat or who takes you down another verbal path that helps you realize what is truly important.
This person helps you see the reality of the situation versus the emotion without dismissing your feelings.
One of my friends shared this validating piece about why embracing our emotions is healthy for us. https://www.mindful.org/real-gift-negative-emotions
Let’s be friends who help each other embrace our emotions, work through our situations, and learn what our emotions are telling us so we can be healthy human beings.
If you’re struggling to plan time with friends, order The Busy Woman’s Daily Planner and get a FREE ½ hour consultation with me, Susie Glennan. Once your payment comes through, I’ll email you to schedule a time. (Expires 11/30/19)
Blessings and Peace,
©2019 Susie Glennan
Further reading: What a Friend Needs
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