Does it feel soothing to constantly rant about your problems to others?
Sure, we all need an outlet, need to vent. And of course it is great to have someone who’s supportive when we feel like sh*t.
Even so, you can only whine up to a point, beyond which it crosses the too-much border and you face the risk of becoming addicted to complaining. Attached to this are the misery and events that take residence in your head. This is especially true of grief and disappointment. There is research to prove this. In fact, for some people, pain is equal to pleasure. I am thinking of a relative who was happiest when she was unhappy. It is probably because it feels better to feel something, even if it is pain, rather than feeling nothing.
Reality bites, eh?
Then there are people who rely on the drama they build up to feel “alive”, attract attention and give themselves a sense of importance. They just cannot help sharing their problems repeatedly every time they meet someone.
Thing is, talking about those problems continually can make them appear worse than they actually are. Every time we talk about a lousy experience, we live it all over again. And as we get addicted to talking about these problems, we end up feeding the negativity and nurturing the pain. I am sure you know people who do this and, in the process, make things out to be far worse or exaggerate. The typical molehill to mountain tendency. One tiny incident becomes, according to them, worthy of becoming global news headlines. Maybe they stumbled on a stone, or maybe someone said something to them—and they can’t wait to blow it out of proportions.
Hey, not saying it is wrong to talk about problems…but isn’t it nicer to be a little modest and share it in a healthy way?
How, you ask?
Here are seven tips to remember while sharing those problems to ensure you feel good afterwards. Because… that’s the idea, right?
Pick someone who is willing to listen to you
Pouring your heart out to the first person you come across isn’t a good idea. If they happen to be disinterested, you’ll only feel worse. So choose who you talk to.
Avoid going overboard with the problem-sharing
Even close friends have their limits and they’ll tune out at some point, in which case you’ll be talking to yourself. Also, not really fair to overload someone—so stop after a point and move on to other things to talk about.
Try not to drag-stretch the topic
It is tempting to make it sound far worse than it is but do avoid exaggerating and making it into a discourse. Try to be matter-of-fact about it—this will also help you get a perspective on your own issues. I can tell you this: when you hear yourself whine, most things sound like a bit of an overdose.
Have a sense of humor
Very important, this one. When my friend and I throw a pity party, we end up making fun of each other and dissolve into laughter. Suddenly everything seems so funny and it helps us get rid of the stress that comes with feeling miserable. Before we know it, we’re already feeling better. Why be so serious? Laughter IS the best medicine.
Focus on solutions, not problems
This is one of my Mom’s favorites. She always liked to say: if you can identify the problem, surely you can find a solution. So, while blowing off about the problem try and see it from the point of view of a solution. Do complain—but also think: what can you do to make things better?
Tone down the words
As much as it feels good to rant, choose your language. Try to be less negative. Go easy on the superlative adjectives.
Never miss an opportunity to shut up
Yes—you really don’t have to freak out over every little negative thing. Sometimes it is okay to let things happen. Try meditation. Just sit somewhere quietly for ten minutes. Take deep breaths and let the feeling of tension pass.
At the end of the day, life is all about achieving a balance. While it is fine to talk about your problems, just remember that it can be a healthy exercise: when you find the right time and place…and person.
Be happy! You deserve to be!