When to Vent/Complain

By AM Northwest Staff

Don't you get so mad when someone cuts you off on the freewat? You feel like driving up next to them and yelling "what were you thinking!?" but everyone knows this kind of venting could get you killed.

On the other hand, when your steak comes to you well done when you asked for medium rare don't you have a right to complain and send it back?

Complaining can get you postive results but when used too much or too long, it can have negative consequences.

We had life coach Stephanie Somanchi in the studio to help us find the key to successful complaining. 

When to Vent-

Complaining can be a great tool when you use it properly. Complaining can let off steam, bond you to others, and allow you to endure difficult situations. However, complaining/venting when used too much or too long can turn into a negative that zaps your power and motivation to change and can turn you into a negative person. Finding a balance is key to successful complaining.

Hold Steady

The situation isn’t changing, and you don’t really want it to, but it is a difficult time that you need to "get through". This kind of complaining allows you to take a break, and come back to the situation to do it again or maintain until it is over.

Examples: You are the mother of two kids in diapers. You’ve changed poopy diapers all day, and you are sick of it. You don’t really want to see your children disappear, but a mommy’s night out where you complain to your girlfriends and laugh about when you could speak about grown-up topics is just the thing you need to revive you to go back and be a great mom tomorrow.

Perhaps you are a student and you are going through finals. Taking a break from study to complain with your friends about how much work, and how crazy this time is, gives you a release that allows you to go back to your study.

Stand for Yourself / Be Heard

If you never share what you don’t like, others do not know there is a problem or realize a change is necessary. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Example: Your get your plate at a restaurant and isn’t what you ordered or you asked for rare and it was well done. If you don’t complain, you won’t get the problem rectified. It may also make you feel like a victim over time.

Create a New Idea

Sometimes talking about what you don’t like about a situation, puts it out on the table and allows you enough distance from it to see new ideas, or to hear ideas from someone else. By being honest about what is not working, you can see more clearly what needs to happen.

Examples: I feel like I am running to the store every other day for groceries. Everyone in the family has different lists, and nothing is consolidated. When you express the problem, you note that having one list would allow you to do all of the shopping at once. This creates the idea that you will post a central shopping list.

The meetings at work run late and there are always new topics or ideas that were not on the agenda that come up during the meeting. This causes you to get home late regularly, and it is getting to be a problem. You then see that proposing the idea of creating a "parking lot" for ideas generated during the meeting provides a voice for these to be heard at another time, while finishing the original intention for the meeting.


Avoid Blowing-Up

Your temper has reached an all time high, and the tiniest thing may set you off on a rant that you will regret. Complaining releases enough steam that you are able to maintain control.

Example: You are visiting your in-laws, and they are grating on your nerves with their crazy political ideas. You sneak into the bathroom, and call your best friend to tell him what an imbecile your father-in-law can be. Your friend agrees, and makes you laugh about the situation a little. You are then able to return to the table, and calmly assert your position and thoughts without turning the dinner into a yelling match.

 When NOT to Vent-


 Need to Change

Complaining lets off steam, and if you are wishing to change a situation you will lose your momentum if you sit around and complain. Complaining allows you to maintain, but if you really want the situation to alter you must reserve your energy for action.

Example: You don’t like your job. If you continue to find a vent for the daily experiences, it will not prompt you to revise your resume and take on the sometimes difficult task of searching for a new position. Change can be hard, and it won’t happen unless there is enough discomfort to move.


Downward Spirals

It starts out a small venting moment, but before you know it everything in the world doesn’t feel right. You begin to complain about everything, and not feel very good about yourself. Ideas that didn’t bother you before suddenly start to bother you.

Example: A little complaint about the line at the grocery store, then leads you to start thinking about how bad the rest of your life is feeling. The complaining leads to more complaining and a general feeling of negativity and hopelessness starts to come over you.

 To get ahold of Stephanie or for more information about her CD or Workshops call 503-372-5208


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