7 Ways to Rant the Right Way So You Actually Feel Better
How to get over what upsets you sooner rather than later
Sure, we all need an outlet, we 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. With this comes the baggage of the misery and events that take residence in your head. This is especially true of grief and disappointment. And there is research to prove this.
In fact, for some people, pain is equal to pleasure. It is probably because it feels better to feel something, even if it is pain, rather than feeling nothing. I had a relative who was happiest when she was unhappy. She always enjoyed complaining and found it really hard to talk of pleasant things. The whole family found that fascinating.
But we know reality bites!
Then there are those 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.
The truth 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 through it all over again. And as we get addicted to doing this, 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 them. 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 proportion.
I am 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 can we do this?
Here are seven tips to remember while sharing those problems to ensure you feel good afterward. Because… that’s the idea, right?
1. 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.
Like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help.
― Criss Jami
2. Avoid going overboard with the problem-sharing
I remember, once, during a trip to attend a seminar, I met up with a friend. At the time, I was going through a bad time in my second job. The unfairness of various things was eating at me. When I met my friend for dinner, the floodgates opened and all I could talk about was the person who was causing all the grief. Kudos to my friend’s patience, but when I think back now, I feel embarrassed about it.
Experience has taught me that 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 — perhaps pleasanter things — to talk about.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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?
6. 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.
7. 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. Embrace them and move on. If they continue to bother you, try meditation. Just sit somewhere quietly for ten minutes. Take deep breaths and let the feeling of tension pass.
It is good to rant, but it is better to get over what upsets you sooner than later by doing the following:
- Pick someone who is willing to listen to you
- Avoid going overboard with the problem-sharing
- Try not to drag-stretch the topic
- Have a sense of humor
- Focus on solutions, not problems
- Tone down the words
- Never miss an opportunity to shut up
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!
Reflect on this:
Are you a half-full or half-empty type of person?
Me, I just go get some more coffee and go back to work!
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