(Buck BFF settled in and ready for my *venting.*)
I barrel into our brief time together like a runaway train (OKIhavesomuchtotellyouabout…) slowing only as we approach
the station our houses.
Literally and metaphorically.
- I greet my friend.
- I inform her I have a vast amount of brain-crap to release.
- I remind her she doesn’t even need to listen merely talking it through aloud helps me process.
- I talk and laugh and realize whatever had felt HUGE is no longer overwhelming.
- I’m done. We’re done. Until it all begins again the next day.
This post is not titled Carla’s 5 Step Process to Talking Through Life Challenges! because there really is no method to my rambling-madness.
It all cascades out and, more often than not, entirely unplanned until the moment I head outside.
This post is focused on a conclusion I’ve arrived at after consideration of how I approach our ambulation time:
There’s a vast difference between venting and complaining.
I like to define myself as one who doesn’t frequently complain.
I know complaining doesn’t help, it brings me and those around me down, and, even when I can’t see what’s coming, I know the importance of havin faith.
I concluded what I do (on these walks and in general) is vent not complain.
To my mind a complainer shares a consistent barrage of negative thoughts.
A complainer may sort of want to change (themselves, a situation) but is for the most part unwilling to take action to set any change into motion.
When I complain I’m rarely interested in feedback or suggestions. I don’t want to hear the positives of my situation.
By complaining I’ve chosen to remain stuck and wallow.
Oh, did I mention complaining is v-e-r-y repetitive? It is here anyway.
During times when I’ve been a complainer I’ve focused on the same situation repeatedly refusing to make any shifts in how I approach it. As a result, my complaining was as draining to the individual(s) on the receiving end as it was to me.
It was an endless negative loop.
Venting, for me, can often initially manifest in a positive monologue.
(This is a term I’ve discovered I use frequently with friends as in: Sorry I just gave you a monologue–but I’d love your thoughts and BTW *damn* I feel better now!).
Venting serves as a cathartic release of thoughts and emotions I’ve carried in my heard and need to give a voice.
Venting is cathartic.
Whether the other person shares or just listens and, for those moments, holds my problems with me.
When I vent I’m aware it wont immediately solve my problem (in this way it is similar to complaining) yet I concurrently know shining light on my concerns makes my stresses feel less daunting.
I can see humor in my challenges where, before venting, I often find none.
Venting allows me release (I’m a pressure cooker. When I talk through feelings they ooze out slowly versus exploding at the wrong time).
Post-vent I feel relieved and, because my mood is appreciably lighter, my people may leave me happier before and definitely not dragged down.
“Are we about done here?”
The other morning, as we walked and I yammered, my new friend laughed and said:
I love how you talk through things. You talk, you debate yourself, you wrap it all up—you’re done! You move on.
I’d already written this post and her words made me smile. How she saw me mirrored how I view myself.
I move on.
Moving on, for me, is the pivotal difference between venting and complaining. With the former I share and move forward, with the latter I whine and wallow.
- Have you considered if you’re a venter or a complainer? Do you perceive a difference between the two?