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Ep. 107 Complaining vs. Venting

by Claudine Sweeney
December 16th 2021

Is it okay to complain? Is complaining any different than venting? Is complaining or venting bad for our health? These are all questions we answer in today's episode. Listen in as we share our pers... More

This is episode 107 complaining verse venting. Yeah. Mhm. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button. So you never miss an episode. And while you're at it share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Clotting Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Yeah. Yeah. Welcome back everyone. I have a question for you to start us off today. Do you ever find yourself complaining about your husband? Your Children, traffic. You're messy house. Yes. What about your in laws?

Neither of us will admit to that on never or your own family. Right. So today we're talking about complaining and we're also going to compare it with the venting. Yes. So what is complaining? What is venting? What's the difference? What's similar or also do you consider yourself a complainer? So there's one thing about complaining. There's another thing about being a complainer, right? Some many of us have somebody in our life. We might know that every conversation tends to be negative almost like does it remind you of like your maybe that's the same conversation every time, right? It can tend to be the same, no movement. It's the same conversation every time they just seem overall unhappy. Or maybe that's you. Maybe you find yourself like overall unhappy and just like, gosh, maybe I'm complaining a little too much, you know, I know I've been there, I've been there for sure. Um a lot of it tends to be with my Children or the messy house or my husband not sense that you might my bigger complaints in life, but what we want to talk about is is there is it healthy?

Is it good? Is it necessary? Is it important? You know, all these different questions I think especially as christian women, we feel like, well we've got to be positive all the time. Just ignore whatever we're feeling that's frustrating us. Or sometimes even as christian woman, we can start complaining a little too much and not realize it. Right? I don't know if many of us have a friend who is quite honest with us. I did. I remember having a conversation with a friend and I was kind of going off on a topic. Um and I actually asked her because I could feel myself rambling, have you ever done that you feel yourself rambling on and on and there's kind of smiling and nodding and then I'm like, am I complaining too much? Well yeah, you can kind of come across as I'm like, okay. And I remember that was actually really helpful and not all of us have that, right? I mean this is a trusted friend for sure. We definitely want to be our best right. We want to feel our best and we want to enjoy this life and we can't enjoy this life if we find ourselves constantly complaining. Yes.

Right? And so, and then there's again, as christian women draws the question of, well, venting is venting okay. Yeah. So that's what we want to tackle today. I believe it is speaking as a professional venture. So let's define the two. So for me complaining is one sided. It's not, there's no open mindedness to it. The person doesn't really want to change their full of blame. And like we said, they'll complain about the same thing again and again. So it seems to be in a stuck cycle, right? It's like there's a lot of blame. It's like the world, the government, the people, my husband, my Children. It's not looking for growth. I know society and culture, there's so many things we can look at and blame for why, you know, our life isn't going the way it is. So complaining is very much stuck and really doesn't want to take ownership or responsibility venting. On the other hand and again, this is all my opinion. I don't know how Webster describes it defines it, but venting to me is getting it out. I think of a uh, what do you call those things that pressure cooker, right?

The food cooks for a while and then when it's done, you have to release the steam and if you don't, it will explode, right? So I have a fear of pressure cookers. I do not own an instapot because I am terrified. Although I have never seen one explode. So, like we talked about triggers last week. I don't think it's a trigger. But anyway, I have an unhealthy fear of pressure cookers and do not own an instapot. But that's the way I look at it, venting to me is getting it out, expressing those emotions. It's you're open minded. Like when I'm venting, I'm open to what the other person has to say, I'm releasing all these emotions. I'm like, here it all is, here's the ugly and I want to change. Like I don't want to be stuck with that. I want to get it out and move it out, right? I don't want to just keep feeling this and I'm usually struggling internally over an issue and that's why event, like I've thought about it. I thought about it now, it's time to get it out and get some feedback. So to me that's the difference between complaining and venting, do you like that? That's really good. Good. I like to like it I like when you're saying open minded that you're receptive to feedback because I think what happens?

I know this has happened in my conversations with my husband. Um he's very um results driven, right? So he, for his job in construction, he's in the management and so he's good at fixing problems. He's good at pointing out problems, not always fun in the marriage, but he's also very good at fixing problems and solving problems. So I've been trying to vent to him and then he's trying to give me the feedback and I've had to stop him and say, I just need to get it out. I just need to get it out and vent. Most of the time. I already know what to do. I just need to get it out because if I keep it stuck, I'm just going to keep running irritable, frustrated, stressed out, overwhelmed, whatever. But I've learned that oh the venting is good. It's processing, that's what it is, venting is processing. But when you're humble and willing to get input, if you don't know what to do already, then that is a game changer because otherwise you're just complaining and you are, you become the complainer not really attractive.

Yeah, it's going to be a complainer, complainers just want people to listen to them and agree and support them. Like you're right, that person is wrong, the situation is wrong, everything's wrong and you're right and I can come from an insecurity, it could come from all kinds of things and even an unconscious on an unconscious level it gives us a false sense of power and control when we complain, we feel like we're right in the situation that happened is wrong, right? We always want to be right. Our primitive brain wants to keep us safe and right and comfortable and we write it by complaining about how it should have been or what was wrong with it. And this makes us feel superior and powerful and knowledgeable and strong. So it's a great ego boost. Like I'm right in this situation is wrong. It's another way of like not taking personal responsibility, right? Because if we're right, then we don't have to change and who wants to change because change is not easy, right? Right? But we can do hard things and change admitting that, Gosh, I could have been right, could be wrong. That's not what we want to do, right? And that's why I feel like venting is open to the possibility like you're expressing emotion, but you're open to the possibility that you're wrong.

Like I want feedback. Like usually when I'm venting event to those closest to me and I've learned who I can vent to because some people just don't want to listen to it. But it's funny you were telling you about husbands you were sharing about yours wanting to fix it. You know, we're wanting to see the problem fix it the other morning. Um, it was really cold in our house. Our bedroom has a lot of windows, so that room tends to be really cold. So I was under the down comfort. So it's not a problem because I'm dressed warmly and I have a down comforter and a sweatshirt and all that. So my husband came in in the morning, I said oh it's really cold and every time it's cold I think about Mexico, which is one of our favorite places. And so he literally went on like a five minute like little, I don't know what you call it, kurt spiel encouragement spiel, let's call that, telling me how I should change up my morning routine. It's like it was cute, luckily. So I said, you know, all I said is when I'm cold, I think of Mexico, I wasn't seeking input. Her advice actually wasn't even complaining. I was just making a factual statement.

It is cold. And I think of Mexico And um you know, he's trying to fix it. He's like maybe if you got out of bed early and did this and it had like 10 things that would help. And so luckily we both grown and I said, you know, I actually wasn't seeking input on how to change my morning routine. Was just saying when I'm physically cold, I think about warm, tropical Mexico and he laughed and he was totally humble and he apologized and he said, you're right. I said a better response would have been like, tell me more about Mexico that have been such a positive interaction. But anyway, look at how different it could have ended up just being honest and making a joke out of it rather than taking it personal and right. I was just you know, and causing an argument unnecessarily. But that you guys can joke about it and Yeah, well, the truth of it is I wasn't even complaining. You're venting. But it was just kind of funny. But back to complaining, inventing. You know, I look at it in the bible, there's full of ventures.

That's what I'll say. I feel like with God, an authentic, honest real relationship will involve some quote unquote venting. This week at my neighborhood bible study, we were talking about Jeremiah and Baruch who was his scribe. He had a point where he vented to God and in Jeremiah 45 3, it says I am overwhelmed a trouble. Haven't I? Had enough pain already. And now the Lord has added more. I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest. And of course David Has been full of being honest with his um emotions and job and job 10. You know, we know job. He was certainly venting with his friends. And so the Bible has those examples of people that were real with their emotions. They didn't stuff them, they didn't hide them. But even with David in Psalm 131, he poured out his motions of how he felt. But then it was like. But and he made it back to God. But he knew intellectually he just had to get out the emotion?

Yes. So he vented? But he went back to the truth. I wrote down that example, great, great minds. Think alike. David really helped me through a season of depression a few summers back. And when I was reading through psalms, it was the first time really that I had read through the psalms. And I just dawned on me because it happened so frequently as I was reading his inner conflict, his inner mental emotional conflict. It totally resonated with me because that's how I felt internally, right? I felt like I should be feeling better. I shouldn't feel depressed. I shouldn't feel down like I have a lot to be grateful for and we should ourselves as we try. Um and I was really hard on myself, which also keeps you stuck in depression. Yes. A shame on top of shame, on top of shame. So, but I actually wrote down here uh, to paint the picture. So, in psalm, 22 verse one, he starts off with saying, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me so far from my cries of anguish too.

And um 23 then very next chapter verse one, The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. Yeah, and I thought, oh my gosh, he does the same thing I do. He goes from one, you know, feeling so negative and down. and where are you like, why is this? Why is my life not changing? Why are my circumstances not changing? Why am I just not feeling better? Um to God, I know you're my trust, you're my rock, your mind, you know? And he's back and forth. And I thought, okay, so it totally just humanized him for me, you know, granted David, of course, was a human. But reading it like I had identified with it so much and I realized that it's ok. He's venting is venting to God about his emotional reaction to how he's feeling at the time. But he still goes back to, okay, I know the truth. And when he's venting, he is reaffirming those truths within his own mind. And that has really helped me overcome the complaining and especially depression. It really helped me because it took away the shame because he was doing it.

Like, okay, I can be honest with God, I can vent, I can say those things because that helps processing it helps processing what I'm really feeling and then kind of pick myself up and okay, let's let's do this, let's move on. Let's move forward. Let's, you know, think differently. Right? Yeah, exactly. Well, that's great. Let's move right on to tips because you've already started with that. But one of the things I think it's important to recognize the difference. Really understand the difference between complaining and venting? Once we understand that then we can make a decision about. Do I want to keep complaining? Do I want to stay stuck in this and closed off? I mean, do I, I want to and we all know people that do this. I have a really low tolerance for complainers. I probably shouldn't as a coach and as a christian mentor, but I do have a somewhat low tolerance of complainers because to me, they don't want to change, they just want to complain. And honestly, I feel like with my limited time, which is interesting as an empty nester, I thought I'd have all this free time in the world, but for some reason I don't, it's full.

I can tell you the projects that you keep adding to your list. What can we cut out? Nothing. I can't cut out a thing anyway, that's a whole Nother choosing it in your field, That's right with it. But I don't feel like I want to use my time listening to people that complain. You value your time, I value my time and in your relationships. I do and I will listen to someone vent all day long if they're processing emotion and they are trying to get it out and move forward. I can handle that all day long, but a complainer is someone that doesn't want to change. They just want to complain and they want me to get on the bandwagon and I'm not interested in joining that band joining that bandwagon. So it's draining, it could be recognized the difference because you're going to do damage to some of your relationships or you're going to find other complainers and then you're both going to just, you know, hard wire those complaining neural pathways and then that's all you're going to see. You know, I mean, if you believe that all these things are wrong and you're blaming quantum physics shows us that you're going to find that in the world, what you believe you're going to see in the world.

And so if it's always someone else's fault and it's, and if it's always someone else's fault and there's reasons why you're stuck in a negative emotion and you complain and complain. That's all you're going to see out there. Yeah. And it is proven over and over again that when we focus on the negativity, I mean really if you think about, it's not an effective solution, but also if we tend to be complaining over and over consistently, we don't really want a solution. Like you were saying, we don't really want to change, we want the validation and it helps our ego, right. Um, but honestly, people might tune you out. Yes, I have, I have figured that out. People continue out because it's the same old, same old, same, Oh, you know, I don't want to keep hearing about it because like you said, why don't you do something about it, You know, I mean, most of us have had a conversation with somebody, it could even be someone in the store, anybody where they're just going off about things, it's like, you know, for 11 thing that I think about like, well do you feel good? Like does that make you feel good?

And it might for some people, especially if they complain about traffic, right, it might feel a little bit more powerful, but it doesn't really feel good, you know? Um No, it doesn't relationships, they might engage with you less. They might not be as interested in the relationship because they know every time I talk to this person, you know, it's the same thing and I all have struggles. We all have challenges and sometimes it feels like a little too much to carry someone else's uh complaint. Yeah, complaint. Thank you. And here's the truth. Friends, you cannot rise up and shine in your life if you're a complainer, so recognize the difference. And I will also say to you that if you tend to complain about people there is going to cause an issue with trust, you begin your friendships or any relationship because then the people that you complain to might now now start getting a little worried that you complain about them to other people behind their back. And so that will really hurt relationships, you know, and that's many reasons not to complain.

Many reasons. And can I also say some of the health reasons the physical briefly. So when we focus on negativity or when we complain, it releases cortisol. Right? So cortisol is the stress hormone. So if you think about it for doing that all the time, you're essentially adding more unnecessary stress to your life and what happens, I've done this as a mother, especially a stay at home mom and dealing with all the house and kids and schedules and all that, but I have complained about being stressed out and overwhelmed. But every time I complained about it keeps reinforcing it, that feeling because it's releasing the stress hormone. So it's keeping me stuck in the stressed overwhelmed state. It wasn't a solution. It wasn't changing. Um, it impairs our immune system. It increases our risk of diabetes or high cholesterol and it makes us even more vulnerable to strokes and it can obviously contribute to depression as I shared a little bit earlier. So I thought those are important to realize because it's not just an unattractive behavior, also damaging to your physical health and your well being.

So many. So, the second helpful tip is focused on your emotions, not blaming, right? It's one thing to say, oh, I'm feeling really frustrated, I'm feeling really irritated and feeling angry and feeling depressed on the emotions rather than blaming others. It's healthy to acknowledge our emotions. It's not healthy to continually blame others because when we get playing it keeps us in the right, and we have no power, we give all our power to someone else while they did this. And now I feel that I have no power for the circumstances, people circumstances, but it keeps us in that victim mode, yep, not a healthy place to be. Um the third one is I say go to God first. I'll never forget many years ago, I had a women's ministry leader um down in southern California said, listen, whatever you're going through, don't come to me until you've gone to God first. And I thought, wow, that's really powerful. Like she was open to me coming for suggestions or whatever, but she wanted me to go God first, it was such a powerful training moment to think, Yeah, he's the one I should go to first now for me, like I said, I'm a professional venters, so I will talk to God first, but typically I need a human being to hear me out as well.

Like, you know those closest to me, I'm like, can you believe La la la and I'm feeling this, I'm feeling that. And um But it's always helpful to go to God 1st and Pray about it. And the last tip is if you're going to bend to a friend, like, like I said, I do watch your words in your tone, make sure you're not blaming, but also watch your words because typically if we haven't gotten to God first and we're going to a friend first, we might be really emotionally charged and we don't want to come at someone, right? We've had people that are venting and I get very uncomfortable when someone has strong anger or strong a strong emotion. I can that can be hard for me because you and I know you've said this before, we're both impact. So we can feel those emotions. So if someone is feeling really strong, something negative, I can tend to feel it as well. So, um just make sure if you're a venter that you watch your words, your tone, your body language if you're in person, so you're not throwing all those emotions or making them so big that your poor friend can feel them as well.

We're also dropping names. You know, if sometimes when there's you know, this is where gossip can also that's complaining, not venting. We're talking about healthy venting. That would be compelled to help. Yeah. Oh, don't you think? I think if you stop because then you're blaming other people. I feel like you can still throw in names of I don't do with names. No, because that's gossip. So we don't do that. So, see healthy venting does not include name dropping. So that's a great tip. Like even when I was sharing about my situation I was talking about triggers last week with you. You have no idea who I was talking about. And you know, some of these people, but you don't know because I didn't tell you who they were. You know, nobody knows except me and God as it should be. So, those are my four tips for venting healthfully Ashley. Do you have any to share? Yeah, I'm just going to add a point on here. So venting the reason why we say that we believe inventing that it's important um is because it gains perspective, it helps you process through what you're feeling um and gain perspective on how to respond or solve the problem or, you know, just choose differently, choose a healthy way.

And the other thing about why venting is important is because if we don't fully acknowledge and own how we're truly feeling, if we're not honest with how we're feeling, then it creates this unrealistic reality basically, right? I mean, it can lead to toxic positivity and which isn't healthy. And even um damaging again, because we're avoiding how we truly feel and we need to address how we truly feel openly and honestly with trusted people, definitely God to help us process through because again, if we don't process any emotion they get stuck and we've talked about that, even if you want to look more, we talk about emotions much deeper in episode 86 and that is really helpful to understand why we need to share and open our mouth about this stuff. And part of it even I consider it like part of confessing to because we need to be able to get out of our heads of what's going on, how we're feeling what we're thinking in order to move on to fully process to make better choices.

Healthier choices and move forward. Yeah, great point. And lastly I just want to finish up what if you're the person that's listening to a venter complainer? So like I shared, I have a low tolerance for complainers. So typically if it goes on it's the same story again then I might like jesus asked the paralytic by the pool. I might ask do you want to get well do you want to get unstuck? You know things to be different. Do you want things to be different? I might ask that which will then really that usually accused them like oh because then the truth will come out, do they really want to change or no, I just want to complain because again I don't want to sit and listen to complain but if they say yeah, I really need help with this and it's great. And then another thing when we're listening to someone who's ending, just really listen, that's really all they want is listening and validate. Like again some people and I am guilty of this in the past. Yes, just say I could see how you feel that way, wow, you seem really hurt or you seem really frustrated. Just listen and validate it. You don't need to correct it. Well you shouldn't feel that you know God says don't use the bible to shame someone.

Use them to shame what they're feeling validated, make sure they want some help and then offer maybe to pray with them or offer them an encouraging scripture. Not one that shames or kind of dis dis vows, whatever the feeling we really want to validate each other. Ask them to do you, do you want my advice or you want me to listen? We've had that input on us, my husband and I in our conversations and so we've had to practice that. Do you want my input or my advice or do you just want me to listen? And so to be clear with that is really helpful because one person might be expecting you just to listen, right? But then you're listening to respond and you're ready to give them, oh, this will work, this, this is the work. But a lot of times they don't want that, but sometimes they do, right? And then you don't say anything because you're just listening. You're like, did you hear me? You know? And that's all it's good both ways. It actually also helps with preface ng you're venting moment as that. Like, I just need event. I just need you to listen or you can say I just need event, but I want to get your input too, you know, when I'm done.

So that's very helpful. Great stuff. So don't be a complainer, but it's okay to event and process your emotions with God burst and then with a trusted friend coach or counselor Alright, everybody thank you for tuning in today and we will catch you next week, take care. You're listening to the Rise Up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise Up and Shine podcast. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ep. 107 Complaining vs. Venting
Ep. 107 Complaining vs. Venting
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