Do you act like a victim and not even know it?

Do you know someone or ever overhear someone who whines, complains, and bitches about everything? Does it make you want to freaking rip your hair out and stab yourself in the eardrums with a sharp object repeatedly?

What makes people do that and how could this kind of behavior be even remotely interesting to people?

If the person is a friend or family member of yours, you are like most people when listening to stuff like this. You appear to be listening intently and every now and then, give a nod of reassurance and affirmation.

But all the while, you are secretly wishing they would just shut the hell up and do something about it! And if they can’t do anything about it, focus on something positive within their control.

We all like to complain sometimes. There are a lot of things we can’t control in this world, so it makes us feel better when we are allowed to vent.

But when is a vent just a vent, and when does it begin to cross that line to TOXIC behavior?

Frequency and severity.

First of all, how often you vent and how upset you are when you vent tells a lot about you and your outlook on life!

If you find yourself bitching and complaining about the smallest and most simple things every day, well then you may have a problem, and you would do well to change your habits.

When you get up in the morning and get ready for work, and the first thing out of your mouth is “Who left the cap off the toothpaste?!”, then you stomp out of the house and into your car, only to scream inside your vehicle at every driver you pass en route to your job, that is not necessarily normal!

Equally, if you don’t complain often, but when you DO complain, it comes out as M***** F***** $#!+H3@!$ at a really high volume, and it takes a cold shower and a couple of Tylenol to calm down, you may want to question your methods for dealing with stress.

Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to vent and thank goodness if you have someone who doesn’t mind being your sounding board for stuff that really bothers you. But at some point, you have to decide whatever is really bothering you must be dealt with.

Ask yourself a series of questions and work this out.

Are my complaints valid? If so, what can I do about the situation? Is it out of my control? If yes, then decide how important and relevant it is to pursue the issue until you get control. If there is no chance to control it, move on.

If it IS within your immediate control, take the most positive approach, and solve it. It may take one step, such as changing a thought pattern, or changing a variable of some kind, or talking to someone. Or it may involve several steps to fix.

Whatever the case, be mature about it, don’t gossip, and don’t keep bringing up the topic over and over again until you drive your family or friends completely insane.

If you work on trying to change your outlook on problems, you will appear more confident and happy, and the people in your life will notice!

If you have a personal story about how you overcame being a victim, or how you helped someone else overcome acting like a victim, I would love to hear it. The best lessons are ones that we learn from each other.

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Originally published at on June 12, 2016.