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I got mingled with a certain person in office. He seemed a nice guy so we often have chit-chat and he is the kind of person who always laughs or at least chuckles, almost always. I will now refer to him as Mr Z.

The company I was working with wasn't going well so I was looking for a better opportunity. Eventually I got an offer for a job with really good benefits at a bigger company doing the sort of work that I really like. I accepted their offer and confided with Z about it. A day later he came and said "Oh that company you are joining isn't good. You should reconsider. There people are desperately looking for other jobs". I got really confused because the company didn't seem like going bankrupt or anything, but Z kept on convincing me.

So I trusted my observations and gut feelings and joined them. I stayed in contact with the previous co-workers, including Z.

Recently, one of the coworkers (from my previous employers) contacted me and asked for the advice for job hunting. He was kind of confused because he interviewed at a very good company but Z told him not to go there since the company is bad and no one lasts long. He also told me that Z doesn't drive because he believes someone would hit his car or bike or anything so he prefers to commute through public transport.

Z is now constantly in touch with me over the Skype and WhatsApp and continually sending me messages about one day my company will shut down and stuff.

My goal:

  1. He should stop persuading me to quit my job
  2. People should not loose good opportunities just because he thinks so.

so I don't know what do you make of this behaviour? He doesn't seem like an insincere person, he is very kind, always laughing but this aspect is weird. What should I do in this case to achieve my goal?

UPDATE: I see people giving lots of great advice and yes I have started acting upon one of them or two if you will. the thing is if you constantly hear these things and even if you don't pretend to pay attention to them, they make you doubtful and that affects your work. My previous employer isn't doing good and nobody wants to stand on the deck of sinking ship. I sincerely wish they survive.Thank you all for helping me out here

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  • How do you know Z honestly believes that the company is doing bad and is not just doing this out of spite or because of not wanting people to leave?
    – AsheraH
    Oct 30, 2019 at 5:54
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    Could you elaborate a bit on what you want to achieve?
    – simplemind
    Oct 30, 2019 at 6:27
  • i want to save myself n probably warn others without going harsh with Z Oct 30, 2019 at 6:42
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    What do you mean by "save myself" and what are you expecting from the answers? At the current moment your question is off topic because the answer would be based on our personal opinion on the matter, and you're asking "What should I do?", which doesn't have a specific goal. Please edit your question so we can properly help you. Oct 30, 2019 at 9:31
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    I am wondering what is your actual goal? Do you want to stop being friends with him, do you want to make him realize he is being overly negative?
    – Mykazuki
    Oct 30, 2019 at 11:03

1 Answer 1

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I think I know what kind of person Z is, there are some people that see the half empty glass, and feel like it is their duty to point it out to everyone else, to help them.

And I think it is alright for this people to provide a friendly warning to their friends and family, but it can be taxing on them. What is happening is that he probably doesn't feel like you understand him, or like you are listening to him. So this causes him to repeat himself in many ways to see if you will "get him".

Regarding warning other people

You just need to tell them that Z cares and tries to help but sometimes is a bit too critical of things, so they should always check for a second opinion, besides Z.

In any case, you hould never go only by one person's opinion when taking a big decision, so by advicing your friends this way you minimize Z' negative impact without really damaging his reputation.

Regarding your relationship with him

Whenever he tells you something netagive about your company, like "it is going to close". Ask him for especific information, like SZCZERZO KŁY, suggested. This way you can keep track of it.

So lets say he tells you:

Your company stocks are doing bad, for this and that

That would actually be useful information that you can check on, and then tell him:

Thank you, I appreciate you showing your corncern for me, I will check that out

You should ask him for the source of the information too, like it if was from an article or such. Once you have read it, you can tell him your conclusions, something like:

Well it seems maybe their stock went a bit low, but I don't think it is so bad yet, because they are not doing any budget cuts, and also stock fluctuation is common, thanks for your information though, and I will have an eye out for this

The important thing is to make him see you understand the message, paraphrasing Z could go a long ways. Telling him your plan of action too. Or telling him your backup plan. That way he feels he did what he needed to do for you, you have been warned and you understood, then he can drop it.

Afterwards if he continues pressing over this, you just tell him:

Z I really appreciate your concern, but every company can go under anytime, like you could die any day of your life. I checked the information you gave me and I will keep an eye on it, but I think it would be conterproductive to continue stressing over it, if the company winds up having problems, I think I have time to find a new job. And thanks to you I now know what I should be paying attention to. And lets not forget, stress is also bad for our health, so lets talk about something else.

And you can suggest a topic.

He may get the hint, or continue pressing you. If he does you can decide whether or not you continue trying to explain him that you understood. Or just tell him:

Look Z, i really enjoy talking with you and I would like to talk about something fun. Dicussing the posibility that one day my company may go under it is only making me feel bad and making me want to stop. I know you worry about the posibility of me losing my job, but we already discussed it and I have a plan in action. And as I said, stress is a real thing and obsessing about losing my job can cause me health issues. So if we continue along these lines I will have to pull away from the conversation.

After that if he insists, just dont answer him anymore unless he talks about something else.

Next time he talks to you about this, you ask him if there is new information, or if it is the same situation he was referring to, if it is the same thing, you tell him that you are aware of it, that things have changed/not changed, whatever applies and tell him that you don't want to discuss it further.

This glass half empty people don't see it as something wrong, they just feel like it is a public duty to tell you. So you just need to tell him that although for him is not stressful to be discussing it all the time, for you it is, and it is also unconfortable because he turns something nice, your job that you like, into something bad.

If he continues with this behavior, as I said you can decide to repeat the technique I said, or just pull away gradually from him. After all you told him you don't like to discuss it, if you don't answer him, he will get the hint.

It is key to tell him cleary that you understand what he said. But just telling him won't be enough, he has to understand it; so use paraphrasing or tell him what you are planing to do and explain him how it makes you feel when he insist so much about it and what is going to happen if he continues insisting.

I have dealt with people like this, sometimes they get the hint, however some of them seem incurable, they just can't understand that you do understand what they are talking about. Paraphrasing them, sometimes helps, but other times there is nothing you can do, they are just that way and don't want to change. So you can pull away from them completely, or each time they start with it just tell him, "look Z, I care about/like/(whatever nice thing you want to say) you, but I am not discussing this anymore". And talk of something else, and ignore anything that he says regarding the topic you already told him you won't discuss.

After that it will be his choice to continue reaching out to you and wanting to be your friend or not. He will eventually learn not to mention it anymore or will shut himself out of the relationship completely, since you won't answer him anything related to this issue.

Just think that probably he is anxious and feels he is doing you a favor, that way I think it gets a bit less annoying. Also he may be projecting fears about leaving his job onto you. If he is unhappy where he is you could encourage him to leave. You only live once, and you cannot be all the time worrying about what may or may not happen.

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