It sounds like she’s got herself into a negative mind set. When you’re stressed or have anxiety you can get headaches and aches and pains.
Maybe ask her out right? You just need to say that you’ve noticed a pattern when you speak to her in the mornings and she doesn’t sound happy and you were wondering if there was anything wrong? Put it lightly and nicely. She may need counselling if she feels down all the time.
I agree with you, but I doubt she will want to get counselling. I'll still try to help her, thanks for your advice.
The colleague, I took to lunch. Without accusing her of negativity, or even addressing her behavior specifically, I managed to reach her and change the way she interacted with me. I simply told her that, despite my upbeat attitude, I was struggling. I was overwhelmed in my personal and professional life, and was just trying to get through each day with a smile and whatever silver linings I could find. I also said that there was a lot of negativity and "Debbie Downers" permeating the department, and that it was really damaging for me. I was able to keep all of it in terms of generalizations so she didn't feel attacked personally, or defensive. She immediately switched gears and became my biggest cheerleader at work. She was still fairly negative overall, but not with or around me, which was a huge relief for me, and my officemates who also benefitted from the change in her demeanor while on our floor. It wasn't long before she adopted a more positive attitude with everyone, and as a result, she made more real friends at work, and was happier in general. Forever thankful that sitiation resolved itself without damaging our friendship.
The close friends were a little trickier, but it was to the point that I needed to save my sanity so I took a chance. I took a similar approach, but in a more personal way. Same basic srategy and wording, because it still held true for me and was in no way dishonest. I made an impassioned plea to my dear friends, indivifually, to please help me stay afloat emotionally and mentally. I assured them I'd always be there for them, but couldn't handle much negative dialogue, especially if there wasn't anything I could really do to help. I made it clear I'd still love to chat every day, but that the bulk of the exchange needed to be about the good in our lives. I asked them to help me with my own sense of overwhelm, or at least, not to add to it. I would always be there when they needed a friend, but asked them to take the bulk of their venting to other friends (or more neutral parties) that could handle it better. I never said they needed to change or address their behavior or attitude. I simply asked my friends to be considerate of my feelings, too.
And, it worked. With one of them. The other, I eventually distanced myself from. And when I moved out of the area, we realized we had nothing in common anymore, and just let the friendship dissolve. Which was a relief at that point.
Bottom line, you have the right to ask for consideration from the people that care about you. I hope you find an approach that works for you.
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