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Old 10-25-2012, 10:54 AM
 
13,658 posts, read 13,426,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swgirl926 View Post
Exactly!

Slightly OT, I wonder how many of the "suck it up" people think that going to counseling is stupid because you're just paying someone to listen to your problems. No, first, the counselor is going to actually LISTEN to you, and second, they'll give you the tools to help you with your problems.

What's even more uncomfortable than the "starving children in Africa" comment is when the person says "You think you've got it bad?" and then rattles off a list of complaints. Now, while I don't mind listening to other people because it does distract me from my own problems, it makes me feel as though, if I REALLY needed to rely on someone for something, I'd be screwed.

Here's an example: A guy I knew would complain about his job all the time. Well, a friend of his lost his girlfriend suddenly (as in, she died - not a break up). When the friend was still upset about it a month later the guy told him he needed to get over it. Yet, when the guy had an acquaintance that was diagnosed with cancer, then he expected everyone to be sensitive. What an ass.
See, my vibe is that the OP is continuing to moan about something that isn't fresh, since the implication is that it is happening a lot. Of course if someone is going through a brand-new difficulty or crisis, you don't deflect their pain with "well think of kids starving in Africa." If you're rehashing something over and over though to people who aren't paid counselors, they're going to reach for perspective as a solution, if only to shut you up.

When my mother lost her mother and spoke of her grief to me, I empathized and listened just as she needed me to (I had dealt with my grief in different ways). However, when she tells me she's broke and moans about how tight her finances are, I will cheerfully point out how her standard of living compares with someone in a third-world country, given that she has a closet full of clothes with their tags still on and drives a Mercedes, ya know?
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:02 AM
bg7
 
7,698 posts, read 8,095,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Granny Sue View Post
Sorry majority, I'm with the OP.

Disclaimer....if it's an on going drama that should have been gotten over by now or a different drama everyday...my opinion doesn't count.

Reminding them (telling them really) how much better off they are then someone else really does no good.
It's actually telling them that their feelings don't matter. My parents have done this to me my entire life.

5 years old...Sally won't play with me...Mom:suck it up, people in Africa are starving
16 years old....my boyfriend breaks up with me...Mom:suck it up, people in Africa are starving
21 years old...I need surgery that could leave me barren: Mom:suck it up, people in Africa are starving.
25 years old...I have cancer...Mom:suck it up, people in Africa are starving.
28 years old...I don't know if I want to get married..Mom:suck it up, people in Africa are starving
49 years old...Husband has cancer.....silence....why should I bother?

45 years old...I become a grandma...Mom want's to know why I didn't say anything.
50 years old...DH cancer free....Mom want's to know why I didn't say anything.

During the cancer treatments, I actually took a day off to catch up on my sleep. She called during that day and asked why I wasn't at work. I told her I needed a day to rest...she then proceeded to tell me how much worse her neighbor had it and SHE didn't take a day off to "rest". Yeah well, she didn't have to work full time, go home to take her husband to radiation and chemo, sit up all night while he got sick and to administer his meds. In the mean time I had to make sure the meals were cooked, pets fed and house relatively picked up. Yeah....someone else has it worse. That day I couldn't care less. I didn't reply, I hung up on her.

So in 50 years I've really only tried to vent 6 time because I learned that my feeling don't matter, I'm not allowed to have bad days and I need to suck it up because people in Africe are starving.

The best thing you can say to a person is..."I'm sorry your going thru this right now." "Is there anything I can do to make it better?"

Sometimes people just need to vent.
Yea, but you only vent TO someone if you are wanting a pat on the back, a there there, wanting them to feel sorry for you. You're not kidding anyone.
If it was simply a matter of venting - go out into the woods and let rip.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Orlando
8,181 posts, read 16,495,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
Yea, but you only vent TO someone if you are wanting a pat on the back, a there there, wanting them to feel sorry for you. You're not kidding anyone.
If it was simply a matter of venting - go out into the woods and let rip.
I'm not sure why you're taking it this way. Maybe we just have a different definition of venting.

There is a difference between wanting someone to feel sorry for you and needing empathy.

Have you NEVER EVER been down in the dumps....for what ever reason....and needed some human interaction?
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:14 PM
bg7
 
7,698 posts, read 8,095,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Granny Sue View Post
I'm not sure why you're taking it this way. Maybe we just have a different definition of venting.

There is a difference between wanting someone to feel sorry for you and needing empathy.

Have you NEVER EVER been down in the dumps....for what ever reason....and needed some human interaction?

Yes, absolutely I have. But there's a difference between 1) asking for empathy or interaction and 2) going to the next stop of being pissy or contemptuous of the person you asked this of because they don't act like you want them to act (you know, becuase they didn't supply you with the "there there" part).

Its like "Can I have some free food?" and then complaining about the food you got.

This is where dependency gets one I suppose.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Houston area
757 posts, read 799,357 times
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I understand what OP is going through.

"Empathy is the capacity to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another .... being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion."

It would be nice to hear someone say, "I'm sorry you're having a bad day" Someone validating how you feel shows they understand your pain. Otherwise you can be left with the feeling that how dare you feel like that!! You are not entitled to have those feelings!

And, there are always people that have it worse than you. Of course everybody realizes that. If I broke my leg, well let's see, who has it worse than me? Someone who broke both legs? Someone who is wheelchair bound? If I were wheelchair bound, then who has it worse than me? "Well at least you are alive."

Okay. I don't think people have to wallow in self pity and go on and on. But having a friend that listens and shows compassion is nice.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:01 PM
 
440 posts, read 1,314,365 times
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It's worse not worst
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:15 PM
 
Location: where people are either too stupid to leave or too stuck to move
3,997 posts, read 5,691,017 times
Reputation: 3635
Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
See, my vibe is that the OP is continuing to moan about something that isn't fresh, since the implication is that it is happening a lot. Of course if someone is going through a brand-new difficulty or crisis, you don't deflect their pain with "well think of kids starving in Africa." If you're rehashing something over and over though to people who aren't paid counselors, they're going to reach for perspective as a solution, if only to shut you up.

When my mother lost her mother and spoke of her grief to me, I empathized and listened just as she needed me to (I had dealt with my grief in different ways). However, when she tells me she's broke and moans about how tight her finances are, I will cheerfully point out how her standard of living compares with someone in a third-world country, given that she has a closet full of clothes with their tags still on and drives a Mercedes, ya know?
You know I'm right here you can just tell me what you think I'm complaining about .
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:11 AM
 
Location: PA
2,084 posts, read 1,828,341 times
Reputation: 5374
Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
See, my vibe is that the OP is continuing to moan about something that isn't fresh, since the implication is that it is happening a lot. Of course if someone is going through a brand-new difficulty or crisis, you don't deflect their pain with "well think of kids starving in Africa." If you're rehashing something over and over though to people who aren't paid counselors, they're going to reach for perspective as a solution, if only to shut you up.

When my mother lost her mother and spoke of her grief to me, I empathized and listened just as she needed me to (I had dealt with my grief in different ways). However, when she tells me she's broke and moans about how tight her finances are, I will cheerfully point out how her standard of living compares with someone in a third-world country, given that she has a closet full of clothes with their tags still on and drives a Mercedes, ya know?
You'd be surprised. Some people don't have the capacity to deal with other people's problems, but you'd best believe that they have no problem telling you about theirs. Logically, we all know that we have it better than someone who has some terminal disease, or someone who lives in poverty, but does someone pointing it out really make anything better?

The guy that I mentioned in my last post is my ex. I tried the empathy route. He would come home and b*tch about his job for at least an hour straight, if not two. I mean I actually got chest pains listening to him. But, let someone have a bad day in front of him, and so what? I will admit that I lost it on him once and told him to go to a pediatric burn unit and see if his problems are still that bad.

I'm convinced that, for every situation where the person is just exhausted about hearing the same problems over and over again, there is at least one where the person just can't manage to muster up enough empathy for another human being.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:27 AM
 
2,873 posts, read 4,729,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
Yes, absolutely I have. But there's a difference between 1) asking for empathy or interaction and 2) going to the next stop of being pissy or contemptuous of the person you asked this of because they don't act like you want them to act (you know, becuase they didn't supply you with the "there there" part).

Its like "Can I have some free food?" and then complaining about the food you got.

This is where dependency gets one I suppose.

If I ask for free food and someone hands me a three week old chunk of raw meat crawling with maggots, I'm going to side-eye them a bit. If I need sympathy and someone berates me for not thinking of starving children in Africa, same thing. Asking for help doesn't mean you have to accept a slap in the face.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:36 AM
 
4 posts, read 3,603 times
Reputation: 10
Venting once or twice = yeah I can listen to that.
Ongoing = means the person is actually anchoring themselves to the situation that is making them feel bad, by constantly re-living it.
Really, how helpful is that to anyone? Both to the listener and to the one unloading?
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