We all have that one friend who seems to always have sage advice, for everything, whether we want it or not.
Sometimes we seek this person out for their wisdom.
Other times we simply want to vent or crack a joke.
Yet, no matter what, that one friend simply must impart their point of view.
Its as if they take everything too seriously.
You post a meme on Facebook because you find it funny.
Next thing you know this one friend leaves a serious comment that leaves your head spinning.
Sometimes their comments can seem quite derogatory or pessimistic, and sometimes they come off as a smarty-pants.
How To Deal With That One Friend
Now we must admit, we all like having this person’s wisdom when we need it or desire it.
So this article is not to shame them or make them feel bad.
Sometimes, however, we just want someone to hear us or laugh with us and not dissect the topic.
There is a reason that one friend is the way she is.
Learning how to deal with this type of person is key to forge a healthy relationship.
In this article, I will take you through
The First Step To Dealing With That One Friend Is Understanding:
We have to understand there is a reason why we are all the way that we are.
When your friend is leaving pessimistic comments it could be that they are dealing with their own internal struggles.
Someone who acts like a know it all could be dealing with an inferiority complex.
Even if this friend is in fact highly intelligent they may deal with someone who often puts them down.
This could cause them to seek ways in which to bolster their own self-esteem.
Someone who is derogatory, well honestly, I have little advice for you with friends like this.
It is always a case by case basis but I more often than not advise my life coaching clients to end relationships that feel abusive.
Derogatory comments that are consistent should not be tolerated by anyone.
That brings me to the next topic…
The Second Step To Dealing With That One Friend Is Communication:
Don’t try to change them or fight back in an accusatory manner.
Getting angry, being a wise-ass back never serves any positive outcome.
Especially when it comes to a negative derogatory person.
Communication is key and with this type of individual, it has to be swift and direct.
One on one communication is best but in today’s online world it may not be possible.
If you can’t get face to face with them, private message them, email them, or talk over the phone.
Never call them out in a public manner.
Let them know what upset you and why it upset you.
If they do not seem open to working things though – cut them off.
I do not advise this for the other two types of “know-it-alls”, just those that are mean-spirited.
I find no room in my life, nor should you for someone who is just rude.
With the other two types, once again private communication is required.
However, the private communication is best for different reasons.
The person who may have an inferiority complex could easily be hurt and embarrassed by being called out publically.
This only adds to their emotional trauma that started this issue for them to begin with.
This is especially true if they are already dealing with emotional put downs and abuse at home.
The person who has been leaving pessimistic comments could be dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD or any other rash of emotional/mental disorders.
More insight on mental health issues.
They could also have just had a really hard life and taken a lot of hard knocks.
Their current financial situation, career situation or any current or past situation could be a root cuase of being negative.
Now, if you have known either of these types and been close to them for a long time it is a lot easier to talk to them.
You may even already know why they are the way that they are.
If you are not so familiar with them it is time to figure things out.
In the case that you already know the resounding issue, you can skip to step three.
However, always be sure that what you think is the problem truly is the problem.
It is always wise to ask if anything new is going on in their lives that you can support them through.
If you have no idea why this individual is acting the way that they are you need to do a little investigating.
Be friendlier to them!
Extend an olive branch.
Get them into a polite conversation about what they have been up to lately and just be a friend.
Gently explain to them that you are concerned if they are alright.
Of course, most people will ask why you have this concern.
Express to them that they have been leaving some comments on your posts, or have said some things to you directly that cause you concern.
Then let them know what these things are and most importantly why the concern you.
We all want to know the why of things right?!
If all you want to do is be light-hearted and fun it just may be that this has totally escaped them!
Whatever they are going through could be blocking their ability to recognize a light-hearted conversation.
When everything in someone’s life is in upheaval this can quite easily happen.
Example Of How To Explain The Why:
- Set the premise
- Provide a reference
- Give your point of view
- Ask if you can help
“Yesterday when I posted the cat meme I was just trying to make others laugh. I truly thought it was funny. Your comment worried me and I was wondering if there is anything I can do to help.”
Breaking It Down:
Yesterday when I posted the cat meme = Sets the premise and provides the reference.
I was just trying to make others laugh. I truly thought it was funny. = gives your point of view.
Your comment worried me and I was wondering if there is anything I can do to help = Offers assistance and also shows your not totally happy with these types of comments on your light and fun posts.
Note that last part!
also shows your not totally happy with these types of comments on your light and fun posts.
There is a time and place to be subtly passive aggressive and this is the time and the place!
I can’t promise this is always going to work but it is a lot better than letting it continue.
This works best with those who are truly hurting in some way.
The fact is, some people simply are know-it-alls who love to comment on everything.
They tend to see it as a hobby and an outlet for their intellect.
Again, they truly are wonderful to have in your corner when you need them but some personality types will only find them combative.
You have to decide for yourself what type of friends you want to have in your social circle.
The best way to deal with the smarty pants type is to be very upfront without trying to use subtlety.
To these types, subtlety can be viewed as insulting.
You won’t get it passed them and they will call you out on it and it can be more of a disruption.
Breaking Down How To Deal With The Smarty Pants Type:
“Yesterday when I posted the cat meme I was just trying to make others laugh. I truly thought it was funny. I know you are really smart, I mean I totally love your advice! Sometimes though I just like to be goofy and I know you read a lot of interesting things into it most of us would never think of but do you mind if we just leave the simple things simple sometimes?
Yes, this is much more verbose than the other statement indeed.
Yet there is a lot more that needs to be expressed.
For one reason we are trying not to offend.
After all this type of person is not trying to be mean.
If they were you were going to remove them from your social circle right?
This person is simply commenting from their perspective and their personality.
We can’t fault them for that.
The longer statement allows them to see the following:
A Review Of How To Explain The Why:
- Set the premise
- Provide a reference
- Give your point of view
Ask if you can helpAsk For Help
Notice I changed #4 to Ask for help instead of ask if you can help!
Breaking It Down:
This is key with this different personality type!
“Yesterday when I posted the cat meme I was just trying to make others laugh. I truly thought it was funny. = Sets the premise.
I know you are really smart, I mean I totally love your advice! = Provides a reference.
Sometimes though I just like to be goofy and I know you read a lot of interesting things into it most of us would never think of = Gives your point of view.
do you mind if we just leave the simple things simple sometimes? = Asks for help.
Sure I realize there are a lot more important topics to take issue with than a cat meme.
I am just using it it’s a lot simpler example than more complex situations that will arise.
Whatever the situation may, however, try using these steps to make things better for you and that one friend.
Now we can take things to the final step.
This is especially important for the first two types of people.
Those dealing with inferiority issues and those with internal conflict.
Both could be in need of talking things through.
They may not be aware that they are externalizing their problems publically or personally through your communications.
Certainly, they are not intentionally making your life more difficult.
Most of these people are genuine kind hearted people.
The last thing they wish to do is inflict problems upon others.
So let’s take a look at step three…
The Third Step To Dealing With That One Friend Is Support:
This is thankfully the easiest step of all!
Simply through asking if and how you can lend a hand is the best place to begin.
Sometimes they just need you as a sounding board!
In the case that your know-it-all friend needs this help, it may be the first time they have trusted someone enough to let them facilitate their needs!
No matter which type of friend is allowing you to hear them out, they are placing a great deal of trust in you.
Especially if they have been hurt, abused, or put down by others.
Be sure you are a trustworthy deserving person.
Never abuse that trust.
Do not become a smarty-pants yourself!
You are not supposed to or expected to solve all their problems.
Most of the time people just want someone to listen.
Do not make comparisons or give examples of others you know dealing with similar things.
No two situations are ever exactly alike.
Do not underestimate their pain.
Even if their issues are “nothing” in relationship to yourself, your other friend, or the starving children in some third world country, their problems matter.
Just listen, offer to meet them for coffee, or take over their favorite wine and have a girls night.
If you are long distance, and they do like memes, send them funny memes now and then to bring a smile to their face.
You can always make something for them and mail it, or send them a subscription box they will love.
After some time you will see that your friend is a little less intense in communications with you.
You will see that you have truly helped someone.
If you enjoyed this article please check out more enlightenment and empowerment articles.
Please leave me a comment.
Let me know if you have “that one friend” in your life and how you deal with them.
Or let me know something you can use from this article.