Life can really beat us down sometimes. And it can often be brutal. It’s during these times we need to pay careful attention to how we communicate our situation to others. When things are horribly bad I realize it’s not really our main concern…about how others view us. But if we are going to let loose about our life and it’s hardships, then yes, we need to care. When we bring a person into our world, we need to first consider our purpose for sharing with them. Is it for help? Is it for advice, or is it purely for sympathy? Do we need comfort? What do we really want from them?
Often during difficult times we become weak and even bitter. Then when we do share with others, we sometimes don’t have our filters turned on or we wear our heart on our sleeve. Everything, plus some, comes spilling out. I know this to be true because I’ve been there. There is a difference between honestly needing help, venting, and whining. Our design is such that we need each other, so I do not desire to take away from well-meaning conversation and/ or comfort in time of need for help and advise.
When we whine, we:
1. …isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Our problems are bigger than anyone else’s and no one has ever experienced the same. That is often our mindset. We are all alone because no one can possibly understand.
2. …build a wall that no one can scale or break through. Honestly, we truly don’t want anyone to come into our domain. We prefer to throw it all over the wall to you. We won’t even listen to the help before us because we truly do not want it.
3. …demand sympathy. Feel sorry for me, please! We would rather waller around in mud because we find comfort there…and attention, which leads to…
4. Drama. Some people live for drama. They want to be the center of not only their world, but yours too.
5. What we do not realize is that when we whine purely for the sake of complaining, we dump our mess into someone else’s lap. We often ruin their hour, their day, their night, etc., with our problems. Many people are sponges and healers. They take on other people’s problems and make them their own. Yes, that is a fault to some extent. They should be able to put up a barrier to protect themselves, but they don’t always do that. When you unload on them, you place on them a heavy burden which they happily take home with them…because they just love sleepless nights. And they do this while you skip away feeling lighter and happier. So whining can put undo stress upon another.
Venting is “using” a person as a sounding board. You aren’t asking for anything at all. When we speak out loud, we can ”hear” the story ourselves. And with that, we can pretty much figure things out on our own along with some discussion with our friend.
So no matter whether we’ve lost our job, are experiencing sickness, are financially broke, have kid problems, or mother-in-law problems, etc., we need to ask ourselves what is the reason for sharing. If it’s not for help or advice, then maybe let the dust settle a bit before sharing. Sometimes situations look better a few days later.
Just be careful who you talk to. And be sure you understand your need for sharing the story. Is it purely for attention? Or do you truly need help and/ or comfort?
It’s always great to have you here. Coffee is better with friends!