What would you do if someone you’re close to seems to be tested by fate? For this week’s Good Advice column, we feature letter from a reader who’s concerned about his pal’s well-being. See his story below:
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I have a friend who always seems to be down on his luck. He complains about his work, family, the fact that he’s still single, or anything in general. I’ve tried giving him pep talks and love advice, and I’ve even suggested job opportunities, but nothing seems to work! How can I help?
– Concerned Pal, 40
Advice from My Pope:
Nothing seems to work because your friend doesn’t really want to change. Unfortunately, there are people who get stuck in the “comfort zone” of complaining and negativity. They don’t really want solutions, they just want to revel in their grievances. Even Pope Francis recognizes this in people. He once said, “so often, we are attached to negativity… we prefer to bear grudges and stew in our own juice because in that way, we are masters of our own hard hearts.” consider pointing out what is at the root of the matter: that things will only get better if he chooses to change his mindset. But if that doesn’t work, then drop it. No matter how hard you try, nothing will happen if your friend is not open to improving. You can still spend time with him, but also make it a point to stop every meetup from turning into a venting session. But if this relationship starts dragging you down, you can step away for a while and focus on spending time with people who are more positive. Hopefully your pal will come around.
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