We all need to vent about something every now and then. I find it to be a good thing because writing about my frustrations or talking to a friend or family member about them can help prevent negative feelings from festering and turning into even greater negative feelings. It is also comforting to know that someone else understands what I am going through and to know I’m not necessarily alone. It can also help me sort out my thoughts before talking to the person who may be the source of that stress or frustration. Venting directly to that person, however, is not usually a good thing because things get heated and emotional, especially if it is done in the heat of the moment, and I occasionally say something I don’t mean and regret.
In my case, I have a whole lot of things causing me stress on a regular basis that I don’t always get to vent about before I have to address them with my family, and it seems to be the same several negative behaviors repeating themselves over and over and over again. If you haven’t been reading my posts from the beginning, just a few examples would be people cutting me off and responding defensively to what they THINK I am going to say, not listening and ignoring me altogether, answering a question as if I asked a completely different one and/or with a tone as if I was being critical when I was not, treating someone disrespectfully, being deceitful, being hypocritical, being stubborn and impatient, complaining about everything, and never being willing to admit they were wrong or made a mistake. It would be one thing if just one person in my family did these things, but it’s multiple people doing them on a regular basis, which just compounds the frustration factor. This is in addition to other factors such as frequent bickering amongst the kids. So I am often in that “high alert” mode where it’s difficult to stay calm and not snap at someone, even though I am trying not to.
When I do snap, I usually feel the need to explain my frustration afterwards. I want the person I am frustrated with to understand that the reason I appeared to be overreacting from their point of view is because of the frequency with which these things are happening from multiple people, and the fact that no one seems to want to do anything differently to improve the situation. Even though I try to make it clear that I am explaining what caused my level of frustration and am suggesting that person try to do something differently the next time so that perhaps the same cycle doesn’t keep repeating, my family usually just sees it as me venting or lashing out at one or more of them because they think that’s what I like to do. The fact that I feel I need to repeat myself because they’re not really listening just adds to that perception.
I probably should wait a little longer sometimes before trying to discuss things, but they don’t usually like to listen any other time, either. So if I had family members who were good at listening and communicating in the first place, there would be far fewer things frustrating me. And if they were open to constructive criticism and were willing to admit they could do some things differently, then maybe they wouldn’t think I am just venting about nothing so much of the time. It’s kind of a vicious cycle that I’m not sure how to get out of at this point. What I do know is that putting all my thoughts on these topics in writing is a form on venting for me that I hope is somehow beneficial for someone besides myself. I’m pretty sure my husband is a lost cause, but perhaps if/when my kids eventually read these posts, they will see that I meant well and perhaps I was right about at least some of the issues I have addressed.
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