Lauretta Hannon: Getting rid of negative energy
by Lauretta Hannon
April 08, 2014 12:00 AM | 1880 views | 2 2 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I have a friend who is disabled that I’ve known for about a year. I like helping her out by driving her places she couldn’t get to otherwise, but her negativity is turning me off! It seems like she has something negative to say about everything she does. She also often disagrees with me. I have mentioned her negativity in the past, and she denies it but does stop for awhile, then starts up again the next time she goes somewhere or does something. It’s never-ending! She’s very educated and intelligent, and actually counsels people and considers herself spiritual! I feel zapped and depressed when I’m around her for very long. Any suggestions short of distancing myself permanently?

A: Judging by the number of exclamation points, I know this is really bothering you. Have a kind and candid talk with her. Explain that her unpleasant nature wears you out and is threatening the relationship.

Initiate the conversation, but be prepared to change your own mindset, not hers. You will likely be the one required to adapt in order to maintain the friendship. Plenty of folks are educated, intelligent and spiritual yet lack even a scintilla of real sense. Look no further than certain leaders of universities, corporations, governments and churches.

Now I’m going to be candid with you: Perhaps a parting of the ways is just what she needs in order to see the consequences of her attitude. Perhaps you can be a more loving friend by walking away. Give her time to cogitate on what you’ve said. Otherwise you might be enabling her self-defeating thoughts, words and actions.

On another point, have you considered that the two of you may not be a good match? If that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong with it. We have different friends for different seasons. I prefer to surround myself with comrades who fill me up rather than tear me down. Gone are the days when I would preserve less-than-stellar friendships out of a sense of obligation. After all, I can’t honor my God-given calling if I’m constantly in recovery from energy attacks.

Give these things some thought. Start the dialogue. Figure out how best to love her, even if the approach results in a separation, whether temporary or permanent.

Q: I so enjoy the quotes you share in your column from time to time. Can you give us one this week?

A: I’d love to. Here’s one I discovered recently from David Grayson.

“It is the prime secret of the Open Road that you are to pass nothing, reject nothing, despise nothing upon this earth. As you travel, many things both great and small will come to your attention; you are to regard all with open eyes and a heart of simplicity. Believe that everything belongs somewhere; each thing has its fitting and luminous place within this mosaic of human life. The Road is not open to those who withdraw the skirts of intolerance or lift the chin of pride. Rejecting the least of those who are called common or unclean, it is (curiously) you yourself that you reject. If you despise that which is ugly you do not know that which is beautiful.”

Send your questions and comments to

Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at
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West Cobb G.
April 09, 2014
I have to disagree somewhat with the advice about the woman who is negative. Here's why...

We are not inside of the heads of people when they are this way. She is disabled. That alone can make a person's life a living hell if they were once a very mobile and active person, and it's extremely humiliating for them to rely on others to be mobile and go places where they were once able to do these things themselves. Maybe she's also lost a spouse... pets... kids?

While we would love to surround ourselves with "drama free" friends, in reality, humans have problems, and it's nice to have friends you can rely on to be an ear or a shoulder when you need them to be.

Yes, it can sometimes get out of hand, and in that case, maybe her friend needs to have a talk with her about helping her find a low cost professional counselor or therapist they can go to, to have a person they can vent to and get advice from? This is certain a better option than telling that person that you're about to bolt on their friendship because you only like to be around happy people.
Delorean W
April 15, 2014
Well said, West Cobb G. the column is a bit naive.
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