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How to Cope with a Senior’s Complaining and Negativity


Great article! My 85 yr old Mother is healthy and goes out every day to eat fast food and shop. She never stops complaining and gossiping. She watches CNN and soap operas all day and night. Most of her friends have started to avoid her because of her negativity and complaining. My brother (35 miles away) drops by every couple of weeks but rarely calls. I love her but I do not like her right now...she’s very controlling, too. Any advice?

My mother is the most negative person I have ever and constantly complains about everything she acts like she's the only one that's sick. And if she finds out I went somewhere without her she's mad. I am sick too I have Lupus and stage 4 kidney failure. I also have 2 brothers and one sister who is no help at all. I feel like I need to be committed.

And just as a caveat, the strain of dealing with a very negative person can be dangerous. It can turn a normally cheerful person into a complaining sourpuss. Be aware of absorbing the negativity. It is toxic.

Thank you for this excellent and informative article.
I have an elderly mother who has moved far away. She has many physical disabilities. She lives in a senior residence and gets excellent care.
I am one of her 6 adult children. I have had many health challenges, live alone, no kids, never married. It is all I can do to keep my head above water. However, I have a joyful attitude about life and try to make the most of each day.
My mom is often in pain and has many physical challenges. She does have an active social life and is living in a safe community. She receives a lot of physical assistance with her daily needs, which are many.
She is courageous in many ways, but she is not aging gracefully. Her attitude towards aging is that she is angry and depressed.
I cannot turn back the hands of time for her or for myself.
I try to create healthy boundaries so I do not get sucked into the vortex of negativity she has about her. It is hard to know that she is suffering, and I am as compassionate as I can possibly be. They say misery loves company. I will not be miserable to keep her company. It is simply too much for me. I just about take care of myself.
She has always been self absorbed and even more so now with all the physical challenges she faces.
I have faith in God for myself so I am trying to lead a good life. I cannot throw away my happiness to try to appease her. It is a bottomless pit. She must accept her advancing age. All of us will advance in age until the day we die. She is not unique in that regard. She fails to see the realities of human existence. She will not live forever and neither will I. Neither I nor anyone else can give her a guarantee beyond that. I wish she would have a greater spiritual outlook and a less self absorbed mindset. However, it is what it is. I love her but me sacrificing my own joy in life to keep her company in her emotional misery is not what I plan to do. I pray for her, and for myself too.

My problem is with my mother in law not my own mother. We were never in a close relationship and didn't really know eachother before she moved in with us. She is paranoid and anxious, trusts no one and tells my husband I am out to get her. She is hurtful and difficult on top of that she complains about everything. We make allowances for her she makes non for us. We have four kids and they are normal kids that have to be told things over and over. She takes issue with that likes it's personal. I am the one who gets the brunt of her verbal attacks. I have never in my life had to put up with such a person. I am at a loss. Please help me.

I have a negative "Nelly" mother also..I can totally relate to many of the comments here. "Basket case" I think we have the same mother..lol. I've been taking care of my parents by myself (only child) for 7 yrs. my dad passed away 3 yrs ago. And now I am caring for my mother. She has COPD, DVT, and osteoporosis. She complains constantly. But will not call the Dr. about any of her complaints because she says the Drs don't "DO" anything!! Just one day I would like to stop by and have her actually ask me how my day was? I'm a mother of 2 grown children and I love to hear about their lives. She could care less about anything only herself! I pray that God will give me strength daily to deal with her but it seems never ending! She tells me everyday she wants to die... she's ready! This is really taking a toll on me, I have high blood pressure and have been on and off anti depressants. Just trying to hang in there! Would appreciate any comments if others are going through similar things 💗

Mine has negative things to say about perfect strangers when we are out and it's so embarrassing because she says these hurtful things so loudly, I just want to crawl under the table!

So glad to read this article! My mom complains about EVERYTHING and is so negative. She is constantly looking at the bad things that *may* happen, no matter the situation.

Useful info. Thank you.

Savvy blog post .