I have a friend who is often down and depressed. I have suggested LOA books and websites (including this one) and seminars, etc. It works for a bit, then she resorts back to her negative thinking/speaking ways. Is there a way to tell a difference between needing professional help vs. a person who simply just looks to the negative and who always seems sad?

asked 18 May '12, 19:13

figure8shape's gravatar image


edited 28 May '12, 02:23

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

True happiness is within, not without. It comes from the inside, it cannot be given to anyone.

So.. whether your friend looks to a book, a person, medication or a professional counselor is irrelevant. That could find there happiness anywhere.

Do whatever you are comfortable with, whether its giving them a book or talking to them about counseling. In the end, however, whether or not this person makes peace with themself its solely up to them. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

I used to be very, very negative, suicidal at times. I was given advice from every person I knew. But none of it truly ever changed me until I made the decision to change and was determined to stay on that path. It didn't matter what I heard or where it came from, it just wouldn't help. But it wasn't because the world was unbalanced, it was because I was unbalanced.

You could give them a 1000 amazing books, a counselor could give them a million motivating words, and they could try dozens of medications, but if they don't read the books, practice the words or make the effort, or even believe in what they're doing, it won't help them. Change on the inside first; then the reflection outside you will change.

I wanted to add- counselors do the same thing any LOA/self help teacher would do- rebuild the mind to be more positive. There are many, many, many incredible people in this world who have so much advice and experience they want to share- whether they are a counselor, teacher, cashier or retired... great teachings are everywhere, we just need to listen.:)


answered 18 May '12, 23:30

LapisLazuli's gravatar image


edited 18 May '12, 23:51

I like your answer Lapis Lazuli but there is one more thing that can cause negative thinking. Lack of proper nutrition over a period of time has a bad effect on our nurotransmitters and this can cause a person to be a habitual negative thinker.

(20 May '12, 11:21) Paulina 1

Thank you Lapis Lazuli :)

(20 May '12, 15:44) figure8shape

@Figure8shape, I suggest that you have created this reality. That you may be -- hell, that you ARE -- perpetuating it! The more you pay attention to her "negativity" the more you amplify it in your mind, in your reality. The more you see her "relapse" the more she will!

There is no book, no seminar, no CD, no person - professional or not that can help your friend.

But you have created this reality. Knowing this, you can change your creation!

The ONLY, absolutely ONLY way you can "help" her is by focusing your attention on her positive qualities! Every "person" in your reality has multiple sides, or maybe you could say multiple facets. Find the facet of her personality you find enjoyable, happy, positive and focus the spotlight of your attention there. It will grow. It will magnify. It will fill your Universe.

You can and you will experience a difference in your friend, in your perception of your friend.

Please understand that you have absolutely no possibility to change another person. It doesn't work that way. But you can change the way you relate to them. As you change the way you relate to them, you will see a happier, more positive person. And you, will be happier, as well.

I have read other posts by you, @Figure8shape and you know exactly what I am saying.

But, since I am always listening to and writing to myself, primarily, I needed to hear this because I was experiencing a 'negative' friend also.

When I point my finger at someone, my other three fingers are pointing back at me. Thank you for inspiring me to remember what I need to do, myself!


answered 20 May '12, 07:41

Dollar%20Bill's gravatar image

Dollar Bill

edited 20 May '12, 07:44

A woman came to a great Teacher bringing her young son. She asked him to tell her son to quit eating processed sugar. He told her to come back in a week.

When she returned with her son, the Teacher simply said to him, "Quit eating processed sugar."

She asked the Teacher, "Why did I have to wait a week and then bring him back to you for you to tell him to quit eating processed sugar?"

The Teacher replied, "A week ago, I was still eating processed sugar!"

(20 May '12, 07:56) Dollar Bill

True Dollar Bill if we see only the positive and good in others we change ourselves and our world. We shall be suprised to notice more of the positivity and good in others. Our world will be better.

(20 May '12, 11:27) Paulina 1

Thank you Dollar Bill :)

(20 May '12, 15:42) figure8shape

You are certainly welcome! This teaching is wonderful. Just need to apply it daily!

(20 May '12, 19:23) Dollar Bill
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

to help is admirable,
to judge is for the divine
and that we never get to be

who knows you better than you
is sadness in what you see
a tension needing balance

objectify the emotion
trace it to the source
visualize, then let go


answered 18 May '12, 21:20

fred's gravatar image


Love this, well done Fred.

(20 May '12, 11:22) Paulina 1

Thank you Fred :)

(20 May '12, 15:45) figure8shape

There are many reasons why people can be habitualy negative and it does impact on our own world. Wanting to help for the sake of help is fine but sometimes we want to help because the negativety of the other person impacts upon us and just sometimes we think "Oh no not them again, they are so negative they make everyone else miserable." And than you realise that this person makes even positive cheerfull you feel sad and uneasy. The majority know someone of this type so does this mean that you make a quick turn and walk in the other direction when you see them coming or do you stay and suffer the misery? Do me a favour, stay and I'll show you how a little at the time you can have a positive influance on this person till they are as cheerful as you are.

Dollar Bill is right when he says consentrate on the positive or something you like about the person. Pay them complements and every time they say something negative turn it arround to something positive. I.e. If they say the weather is lousy and cloudy tell them that the sun is allways shining although at the moment it is shining above the clouds. No matter what they say counteract with a positive and soon this person will realise that they feel better in your company and will look forward to seing you. Pretty soon they will start to be more positive and smile more often and you too will feel good that you helped.

If the person remains negative than know that there is something else fundementaly wrong like health issues. Brain chemistry is a very specific science and without good brain chemistry no matter how much a person wants to be positive it simply isnt possible. Good nutrition and exercise is parmount as well as a thorought chek up by a doctor and nutritionist if possible. One will be very suprised to learn that our brain chemistry can be effected by something as simple as a food intolarance and that if this food is avoided it can make a huge differance to a persons mental as well as physical life.


answered 20 May '12, 11:50

Paulina%201's gravatar image

Paulina 1

Thank you Paulina :)

(20 May '12, 15:43) figure8shape
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