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Do Tell: Do You Have Friends Who Complain But Refuse to Change?

Obviously my friends come to me for advice and a shoulder to cry on, and I’m more than happy to oblige — that's what friends are for! Most of the time it’s more about being a good listener than doling out my opinion, but I do always try to offer my two cents, especially when it seems like there’s a viable solution to the problem.

It’s not that I expect my friends to always take my words to heart, but I must say, it’s frustrating when they continue to complain about the same thing every time I see them but refuse to even try to do things differently. Of course as friends, we're supposed to be there to listen, especially when the going gets tough, but sometimes it feels like it doesn't make a difference at all — like I'm talking to the wall. I have a feeling I'm not alone on this one so ladies, do tell, do you have friends that won’t stop complaining, but won’t change either? If so, how do you deal with it?

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knd-lovee knd-lovee 8 years
YES! especially this one friend I have who always cries over her BOyfriend. for 2 yrs they have been on one month, broken up for the next month and it is a cycle that just keeps going up to now! she sometimes comes crying to my house crying over him saying how they are broken up for good, but this "for good" line seems last only a month or two then they are back together. sometimes i just dont know why she would want to keep coming back to the same guy who is addicted to smoking pot and doesnt really act like a boyfriend. doesnt do anything for her. i guess thats love huh?.. .
lovelie lovelie 8 years
I have a good friend like this. She is exhausting, and I usually feel very frustrated after I get done talking to her. Mostly because its all about her. I am starting to realize that venting on a friend is ok when done in small doses, but when 1) you are not trying at all to resolve the problem and 2) you offer no reciprocity...you should not be surprised if they stop calling you. I am an inch away from that measure with this girl.
mandy_frost mandy_frost 8 years
I am guilty of this.Here is the thing: My guess is that most folks who keep talking about issues they have have deeper issues. I can guarantee I do. You shouldn't run away from these folks, and you shouldn't think they are horrible because they aren't changing their life. You should ask them how they feel about it and WHY they aren't changing their life. After a while of talking, you will probably see that they have confidence issues. Referral to a therapist (and NOT knocking therapy) is a good idea as well.
mandy_frost mandy_frost 8 years
I am guilty of this. Here is the thing: My guess is that most folks who keep talking about issues they have have deeper issues. I can guarantee I do. You shouldn't run away from these folks, and you shouldn't think they are horrible because they aren't changing their life. You should ask them how they feel about it and WHY they aren't changing their life. After a while of talking, you will probably see that they have confidence issues. Referral to a therapist (and NOT knocking therapy) is a good idea as well.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
As someone guilty of this, sometimes you need to learn things on your own time in your own way.
Schaianne Schaianne 8 years
I used to ... unfortunately, I couldn't be around her anymore. It was so negative and absolutely sapping to be near her. Even after trying and trying to talk to her about it - I just started staying away.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 8 years
A lot of people are guilty to some extent.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I do have a friend sort of like this. But it's not just Poor Her, her life sucks, it's just things always happen to her. Sometimes I 'm jsut amazed by the losers and lames she attracts. I try to help her through everything, sometimes I think she holds herself back a little, but that won't EVER stop me from loving or helping her.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
yep, I have one of those "oh poor me" friends and one of those "why me" friends so its a struggle for me to hold my tongue sometimes.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
It irritates me when my friends do this because when they ask for my advice they always say yeah, I'll do that or tell me that it's great advice yet they never follow it. I try to help. I know people need to make their own mistakes but it's so hard to let them when you clearly see what they should be doing and know that they know too and instead they do the exact wrong thing. Most of the time women in relationships do what they think is going to win them the man and usually when I see them do it I just think that they've been watching to much TV and have no experience in the real world. Relationships aren't about games they are about honesty and communication, try it, it works people!
kendalheart kendalheart 8 years
I have one friend in particular who constantly complains that she wants to lose weight and get a guy in her life. I offered to help her lose weight and work out with her and offered her solutions to her no guy problem...I have offered MANY times. She continues to overeat and hang out with her ex of almost 3 years and hasn't dated since him!!! It's so frustrating!!
Doodle-Bug Doodle-Bug 8 years
My brother in laws girlfriend is the prime example. I the 6+ years my hubby and I have been together she has been laying down the woe-is-me card everytime we see each other (not an exageration.. funerals, Christmas, birtday gatherings.. nothing is sacred). Her primary complaint being that she is unhappy in their relationship. Finally about a month ago I had to give her the poo or get off the pot speach... Basically that I love her dearly and want the best for her and their little one but that if she wasn't going to to do anything to better the situation that I no longer would listen to her lamenting unless she had plans for progress.
Marci Marci 8 years
I unfortunately have a friend who is like this. She is always complaining about her job. ALWAYS. But if you suggest she get another one, she finds all these reasons to stay there. She admitted that her husband refuses to listen to her about it anymore, and I told her I'm well on my way to taking the same stance.
Marci Marci 8 years
I unfortunately have a friend who is like this. She is always complaining about her job. ALWAYS. But if you suggest she get another one, she finds all these reasons to stay there. She admitted that her husband refuses to listen to her about it anymore, and I told her I'm well on my way to taking the same stance.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
I have a friend like this...it drives me crazy because I offer advice and support but, just like pretty much everyone who has posted has said, she just keeps doing the same thing over and over again. I actually think she knows more than she lets on though...I think she just doesn't admit what she really wants sometimes....who knows... lol. :)
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Yes, I've had friends like this.. it's very draining. I try to be as supportive as I can, but I reach a limit at some point (and that point varies from person to person).
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
Yes, I've had friends like this.. it's very draining. I try to be as supportive as I can, but I reach a limit at some point (and that point varies from person to person).
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
These are called energy suckers. Just generally people who enjoy the sound of their own voices, among other issues.
TASTEthiss TASTEthiss 8 years
OMG YES. It's so annoying."I cant help you if you wont help yourself."
TASTEthiss TASTEthiss 8 years
OMG YES. It's so annoying. "I cant help you if you wont help yourself."
Meike Meike 8 years
Yeah, my husband and I had friends like this and left them in the dust. Sorry, to say this, but we can't stand people who complain and take no initiative to move forward or make a positive change. We've tried to advise them about applying for jobs, finishing their schooling, getting into shape, becoming independent etc. However, they would never act on any of it, remained unhappy, and constantly complaining. Well, that negative attitude tends to bring everyone else down including us. Eventually, we just thought, 'forget it' and distanced ourselves from friends who have too much of a negative outlook on life. It's better to be realist with optimistic tendencies. At least, having a neutral to positive attitude has worked incredibly for us and we're enjoying successes we never had a couple of years ago.
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