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Phone rings.  I'm busy, it's a busy day.  Lots to do.  But this is my good friend.  I love my good friend.  I want to talk to my good friend.

Good friend starts out with, "I need to vent!"

Of course, sure.  Have at it.  20 minutes later, I'm exhausted.  I become like a man and offer solutions.  I feel helpless.  I feel bad...and I feel a little used.

Now, if any of my friends are reading this, well right about now, their mouths are wide open and they are searching for their jaws.

I have been that good friend as of late.  My friends are dropping like flies.  I've been whining.  I've been complaining.  I haven't been happy.  I've been overwhelmed.  It's been all about ME, ME, ME.

I've been getting a lot of answering machines.

I've been thinking about this business of "venting" lately.  Where's the balance in the venting?  When does the venting stop being productive and start becoming vomit?

How often have I used my friends as a receptacle instead of a listening ear?

It's really quite selfish now that I think of it.  But then again, it does feel good to be able to call an understanding girlfriend and gripe.  I think there's a fine line.  

I got a taste of my own medicine Super Bowl Sunday.  We always have a group of people over for the Super Bowl.  Every year I tell myself, "No more Super Bowl Party!!!"  

I love football.  I go into a mini-depression every year when football season is over.  I don't care who plays in the Super Bowl.  My preference is to see my beloved Denver Broncos, but that is a rare event, especially since my beloved John Elway retired.  I kick myself every year, because when you host a party, you have to work.  You have to host.  You miss the game.

This year I wasn't getting many RSVPS' to the party.  I was relieved and happy.  I've been burnt out as of late and this was just fine.  At the last minute, people started calling in droves.  We ended up with over 20 people in our small house.  Last minute, I was cooking like a fiend.

And I was resenting every minute of it.

Yeah, I can tend to be one of those "givers with an Invoice".  You need to be wary of us "giving" types.  We can really bite you in the butt...ask my husband.

ANYWAY, I finally sat down to watch the game halfway through the first quarter.  I sat next to a guy I had never met, a guy that someone else I didn't know well asked if they could bring.  "Of course!" I said cheerily, gritting my teeth.

I sat down and watched the game intently.  I could feel the gaze of this stranger on me and I tried to ignore him.  He started to talk to me and ask me what I did.  I should have told him, "I'm a missionary for God."  But I didn't.  I told him the truth.

He leaned over and said, "Now, you can say no right now, I mean, I know you're 'off' today, BUT..." My heart started to sink.  I looked over and tears were streaming down his face.  DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!  I want to watch the game!  I don't want to hear this!

"Oh, dear, tell me what's going on" I said, immediately angry with myself.  But geez, this guy is crying and needs to vent.  The vent that was quickly turning into a vomit fest.  I listened for 20 minutes missing 20 more minutes of the game.

I finally had to get up to heat up the food for half time.  I went into my kitchen where the uninvited dog from hell was yapping non-stop outside my kitchen window.  I wanted to break something.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to drink.

I never really enjoyed myself that day.  My husband kept giving me knowing glances.  The husband who had tried to discourage me from hosting the party.  The husband with the glances that were screaming, "Babe, babe, babe.  When are you ever going to learn?"  I hate it when he's right.

I'm learning.  Physician heal thyself.  There's venting and then there's vomiting.  People have lives.  People have their own problems.  And most of the time, people just really don't want to hear a whole lot about other people's problems.  It's as simple as that.

I'm learning, but first I need to re-read my own post about BOUNDARIES CONNECT.  Duh.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Feb 6, 2009
    • I think it’s a bit of a double-edged sword, especially when we (and our friends) become accustomed to the projectile-sharing.

      I’ve also been the one to occasionally spew all over my friends, either just because I needed someone to listen or because I was seeking another perspective on a situation I was too close to. In both cases I’ve usually been able to tell when I’ve been too much of a taker in our relationship.

      Lately, I've actually taken great pains to not just unload with each new development in my life. However, a certain friend who had previously taken on somewhat of counseling role started projecting what I must be going through, rather than take my holding-back at face value, or even asking further questions.  

      As such, it led to a close-call conflict because when she ran with her own assumptions, she made some pretty harsh statements under the guise of advice, and I took exception to them.  

      And round and round we go, huh?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Feb 6, 2009
    • Gr8 blog.

      I am dealing with this now. It seems that I am the ‘ear’ to my friends. (not from here) estatic

      I come here and blog or blog at my sites to vent.  

      As my friend only seems to want to talk about her issues. I am tired of hearing about how much she hates her husband or all the chores she has to do, etc.

      I just do not answer the phone. lol

      I learned a long time ago when people ask me how i am feeling, to just say fine! They do not really want to know.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Almostfive0 wrote Feb 6, 2009
    • Great blog!!I understand.
      I think I’ve been guilty of being both the vomitor and the vomitee on occasion. HA!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Saylor101 wrote Feb 6, 2009
    • There are times that you have to remove yourself from the situations.  If it weighing on you - AS these “friends” are, then you HAVE to take a time-out for you.....you and your dh deserve it....

      A simple "oh honey, I know this is a hard time for you - but only YOU can ____ (insert take care of, fix, decide)"  or go for the "damn it man, I have issues too!!  My Turn, My Turn!".   I have a few friends, that after months or more of the same bs - I just say - you know I love you - and I'm so sorry you got dealt this hand (though sometimes i'm thinking your a dumb ass for setting yourself up for this) BUT You deserve better than to allow it to effect you/your life like this.....  

      be firm, be forthcoming - - it has to better than all the answering machines!   happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindylouwho1966 wrote Feb 6, 2009
    • I love the term "givers with an invoice!*  

      I am much more of a vomitee than a vomiter these days, esp with my BFF of 20+ years. But when I have had enough of the never-ending hubby bitch, I will say-I know this sucks, and I’m sorry, but I don’t have any advice for you. We’ve already been through this. Then we move on to another subject-until the next phone call!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote Feb 11, 2009
    • Sounds like you all resonate with being vented on and being the venter.  Like everything else, it’s a balance isn’t it?  Thanks for the comments.



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