Article about my pet peeve!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by eekysign, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    OK. So there's an article on CNN right now.This topic is probably the BIGGEST problem I have relating to other people. My personality is pretty no-nonsense; blunt, but honest. Funnily enough, my best friend has been "training" me to "behave" about the issue that this article is discussing for YEARS. I'm learning the phrases, "Oh, that must be so hard on you", "Wow, what did you do then", and "Man, I don't know what I would have done". And I hate it, I still do.

    It just doesn't come to me naturally. If you're complaining to me, I'm going to offer solutions, ideas, feedback (For those from the Myers-Briggs world, I am a HARDCORE -NT-). I will attempt to do so tactfully. But since WHEN is it OK to whine whine whine at a friend, and expect them to just sit there and say, "AWWW, you poor baby, how does that make you feel?"????? Now, there are BIG exceptions for things like divorce, death, and cheating, etc. I will sit and console for hours under THOSE situations.

    I understand making sacrifices for friends, and I understand venting. But this article is talking about BEYOND occasional venting - it's people who repeatedly go to their friends/loved ones with minor/major PROBLEMS and complaints, but get angry when the friends/loved ones try to offer suggestions.

    I know I'm in the minority here, 'cause my best friend is trying to teach me how to handle this kinda thing so I can be a better friend to other people. But am I totally nuts? Am I missing some part of MY mental development? Doesn't this all seem wrong? I agree with the article, if someone TOLD me in the beginning that they don't want me to offer help, well - it would HOOVER to have to listen to 40min of whining and not be a party to the conversation at all, but I'd do it. When did it become normal to shut up and let people mitch and boan at you? :alien:

    by the way: This was the part that I really was horrified with:
    Most of the time, Hinojosa, a 30-year-old firefighter and paramedic, holds back his advice. But recently, he let it all out. "I said, 'Stop being so reactive and start controlling yourself,' " he recalls. "She just lost it."

    "You're not hearing me. Stop telling me what to do," Derr said before hanging up the phone. "I ended up getting frustrated because he just wouldn't listen."
    Two hours later, Hinojosa called and apologized. Since then, he keeps the advice to himself, even if he's not actually tuned in to what she's saying.
    "Sometimes I'll pull the phone away from my ear and just let her vent," he says.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Playing devil's advocate here, eeky: Do you see how you just vented? Do you want someone to say that they understand- or do you want someone to tell you what they think you should change about yourself?
  3. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    No, and that's the EXACT problem I have relating to other people. I'm not kidding - unlike, apparently, the normal human being, when I ask if I'm crazy, I mean it.:tongue:

    I'm honestly asking. I am incapable of understanding the desire to complain to friends with-o asking for feedback. That's why I'm posting. For feedback, yeah? If no one responded, I'd be so sad....just as sad as I'd be if no one said anything other than "man, that's gotta be hard for you". Hahaha. Trust me, my best friend lets me know when I've said the wrong thing. I still hate it - it just doesn't internalize for me - but I recognize better now when to shut up. I just don't agree with it. :)
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I don't think you're crazy. I think a lot of people don't know how to react to a woman who is direct; it's ok for men, but not women. I've been told that numerous times. difficult child's former therapist said I had more ying than yang or something; more male personality traits. I'm ok with that.

    I have learned over the years to be somewhat more diplomatic, but it's not my nature. I have friends and a daughter who are extremely sensitive and I really have to weigh my words. It is very hard for me.

    But, sometimes all of us do just need to a situation that there is no solution or 'fix'. In those cases, I'll reply appropriately; usually with something like "that really 'hoovers'" or will feel the frustration and outrage with them.
    But if someone comes to me with a whine - especially if it's over and over and over again - I'm very blunt.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I dunno. I'm a fixer sort of personality. I don't mind supporting a person, or encouraging a person....but it's a whole lot easier if that person is making some sort of effort and not just doing the "poor pity me" routine.

    I offer advice if it's something I'm knowledgable about and I think I can help. Whether or not the person decides to take that advice is up to them. No skin off my nose.

    But people also like to just vent to get rid of the frustration and other emotions. Sometimes they want feedback, sometimes not.

    Whiners I usually avoid. They grate on my nerves quickly.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I realized that there were times that I just needed to vent and needed someone to listen without offering advice when I was speaking to my Dad once. I was going on and he started to ask if there was anyting I wanted him to do to help fix it and I told him no, I just want to vent and get it out without him offering anything. It was a lightbulb moment for me that men tend to want to fix and help, when all we want is for them to listen.

    Usually, now, if I just want to vent, I will preface the entire thing with "I just want to vent, you don't need to feel like you have to fix this." I do this especially with my Dad, but I rarely vent to him. husband knows me by now and knows if I want to fix something, I will do it, so he just listens and feels my pain.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I vent, the others in the house want to discuss. So they assume I'm venting unless I say, "what do you think..."

    Everyone else likes to discuss. And then... they like to say, "but you don't understand!" (Uh, I thought you were explaining?) I have informed all three that if they ask for my opinion or ideas, they cannot reject them without at least a discussion.

    For about 3 months I quit giving my input totally. Until husband started begging one day. He literally got down on his hands and knees and told me I could give him my input again. He's been much better about it since then. The other two are kids, though.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Eekysign... I'm like you. I don't mind listening to someone vent once in awhile but I get tired of it real quick when it's the same thing over & over. I have a friend like that... she's been complaining about the same thing over & over for four years and has never found it within herself to do anything differently.

    I either tune out or change the subject now.
  9. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Maybe it is a guy/girl thing, and I fall on the unusual side. I think it's a pet peeve because while listening to someone complain, my brain is feeding all those facts into a big picture of the situation, and when they finish complaining, my big picture starts feeding me ideas on how to fix the problem. My first thoughts aren't an emotional response to how the situation must have felt for the other person, they're all about how to help the other person, i.e., "Oh, that's what's going on? Well, have you tried XYZ?" And when they reject that, and start whining again, it feels like they're just wallowing, and using me as a sounding board. I'm a friend, not an inanimate object for you to talk at. That's how it feels to me - me who doesn't understand the need to vent with-o a response. Haha.

    It makes sense, thinking about it that way. Sounds like a logic/emotion argument. I know I need to work on my empathy/sympathy skills, so that would make sense. I am too logical for my own good. If my initial response WAS more emotional, more "Oh man, that's awful - are you ok now?", then venting with-o needing a response wouldn't be a problem for me. Guess I need to get my brain into a better balance? :)

    It's interesting that some of you have already hit on this topic, from BOTH sides! It seems like it could be a real relationship problem, like CNN was saying, if it's not addressed.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    On the upside, when friends have a situation where they need someone who's not afraid to be direct - ask questions, spell things out - you're the one they call. :tongue:
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Eeky, I'm a hard-bolied NT as well, so I understand what you're dealing with.

    A couple of things...

    1) Because I tend to be very quiet and reserved, I don't usually jump in with the advice (although it's all queued up in my head, should someone ask for it).

    2) Over the years, people have gotten to know that I'm the person to come to when you want direct advice or information, thinking and reason. I don't "do" emotions very well, so people have learned not to seek that from me.

    I don't think that it makes you a bad friend if you're not responding with "there, there" or the equivalent. It may be that you're not meeting that person's particular needs, but then again, perhaps she should be seeking someone else out when she wants to vent, and coming to you when she wants to listen and learn.

    I think "feeling" responses do tend to be more of a female trait, so people find it unusual when a woman is more "thinking", but there's nothing wrong with it.

  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty direct too, but I've learned through the years that not everyone wants my advice. Sometimes they just want to vent. It's hard to hold my tongue at times and sometimes I just avoid a person who wants to talk about the same thing over and over again, but wants no feedback and won't help the situation. I have learned to be more gentle though. If somebody keeps repeating a problem and has done nothing to change anything, I will often say, without scolding, "So what do you think you can do to change it?" If they say "Nothing" then I say, "Well, then nothing will change."
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I know other people like you eeky - and I don't think they're mentally ill - I think however; you value your time. Your time is precious to you more so than maybe anything else that you have. You're not a middle-man sort of person - you're thinking is pretty black and white about issues - and that's just who you are.

    If you come off curt or brash - and someone says "Wow that was a little, um - insensitive -your brain analyzes my comment, and then moves on, making notes that you may not want to use that exact verbage in similar situations again.

    You are in a class of people - that I would say - Likes the bottom line and struggles with the gray areas. You make excellent advocates, attorneys and GAL's. There are lots of things that because of who you are - you do well, where others would struggle.

    I think personally we're all nuts - but different nuts all the same.

  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    A good friend of mine (male) asked me a question when I was venting/stuck/frustrated/etc. He said, in the middle of my ranting," Do you want me to listen, or do you want me to fix it?"

    It really made me think about what I wanted from him. And, it saved a lot of irritation later.
  15. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Preach on, Sister Star! Ain't it true, though - I am working on being better at doing it, happily, I'm just bad at it. They need to make a 12 step program for the less emotional. :tongue: No wonder it's always been easier for me to be friends with guys!

    This has actually been really useful, though - this discussion and the article, I mean - I was talking to Mom last night, and it occurred to both of us that Mom (ENFJ for you MB kids) and I (ENTP) fuss at each other over exactly this issue when we're stressed about Sis. She wants to vent to me (extroverted feeling), but I try to get her to problem-solve with me (extroverted thinking), and we end up fussing 'cause neither of us are getting what we want. She promises in the future to tell me when she just wants to vent, so I know to shut up, already! Yay!

    Everyone's been uber-helpful. There's so much awesomeness in this thread, I can't even begin to list it.
  16. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    KTmom....that's basically what my dad did. That is probably the best "male" tactic with a woman, huh?

    I'm a very direct person, also. A lot of my friends will come to me with a problem or a question and tell me that they are coming to me, because I will give them an honest answer, even if the answer isn't what they want to hear.

    However, if my thoughts on something aren't pleasant and I haven't necessarily been asked my opinion, I will hold my tongue, unless something really compells me to speak up.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    LOW IN THE DAY OF THE NUT.......they came down from the tree - and were scattered on the ground as if thrown there. Then the sky opened up and a thunderous roar could be heard across the orchard and the almonds quaked with fear and hid from the sky as they were shell-less.

    Then they were cast out into some Russel Stover gooey Easter surprise.

    The end.