Whataya Want From Me

This is a rant -- it's of little real helpful substance and all about what's weighing on my po' wittle spirit.

I just don't understand people sometimes.

My friends know me. They do. I've commiserated over this issue over and over and over. Despite feeling like they don't, the truth is, they do.

So can someone explain to me why when they need coddling, or support for bad decisions or co-signs on stupid stuff they call me?

I'm not the one. I'm SO not the one.

But you know, I try to be. I can tell they want someone to pat them on the back and say it'll be ok. They want the "there, there now." So I try to give it to them, but it hurts me to be so ridiculous.

::Deep Breath::

Look -- I'm not going to sit here and let you whine over some mess you've been whining over for 2 years.

You don't like the way your life is going, then CHANGE.

The definition of lunacy is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result everytime.

See I deal with what is. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hard-nosed, hard-line realist. I'm all about discussing options and talking about plans -- but I'm not about the whining. What has whining ever solved?

We all need moments of whining. Sometimes, it just feels "good" to wallow in self-pity but if you do that too long you forget how to function properly.

These people -- they come with the same mess, every day. Scared about their futures, unsure of what lies ahead. Guess what? Nobody knows what's going to happen tomorrow but tomorrow and God. Just wait a daggone minute, it'll be here soon enough.

My favorite part is when they make me feel like the bad guy for not playing the game with them.

Wait. Let me get this straight. You're mad at me because I won't break from my usual responses? You're mad at me for responding to you the way I always respond to you? With frank honesty wrapped in love?? Well -- ain't that some b.s.

I could ramble on this forever, so I'll end with this:
Don't ask me for what I don't have. If you need coddling, call your mama. If you want to have an honest conversation about how to proceed, then I'm all ears because I am not interested in dead-end discussions. Let's make a plan, let's execute and let's be flexible, ummkay? Ummkay.

P.S. This four year old blog post by La at La Bella Vita says it way better than I ever could.


Jara said...

Word, sis!

I was just thinking this a couple days ago when a friend called me and started the conversation with "I've talked about this with So and So but it's still bothering me..." That was a red flag that this is about to be an unproductive venting session. Because I'm sure that So and So had some good suggestions and/or woo-woo available before this problem landed on my phone.

Sometimes I think people manufacture problems to discuss because they don't want to discuss the REAL problem. Because the manufactured problem can't really be the problem. It's so small and easily fixable.

I love how you make it clear that you're willing to help build and execute a plan for CHANGE (i.e. brainstorming a solution) rather than be someone's free therapist.

I now charge for my services after the first free session. :)

Solution: Maybe our friends need a blog as an emotional outlet.

A.Smith said...

@Jara- I think they do need blogs! I've been told I need to charge, too. I'm really going to have to get serious about that.

I've actually started to think (and had I been slightly less aggravated when I wrote that, would've said) that my friends know if I co-sign something, it's valid.

They want me so desperately to co-sign the whining so they feel like it's the right thing to do, even when they know better.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Oh, I don't know, A. Sometimes people just want to be listened to without the advice or feedback.

In these cases, a mantra-like question of, "So, what are you going to do?" can be more helpful than giving them your answer.

Then comes the "What do you think I should do?" question. Experiment. Try responding with, "Oh, I don't know. What do you think you should do?"

Most adults already have some idea of how to solve their own problems, which may be far more complicated than their initial presentation of them. This is often why they're going nuts; it's the unsaid complexities that makes offering solutions so hard.

I might do a post along this line later.

A.Smith said...

You're absolutely right. In fact, that's exactly what I do. When I say I deal in terms of reality, I mean I'm all for haivng a discussion on what to do, what could be done, what they want to do, etc... I'm even very understanding when they just want to get it out, because that's how I feel often -- you don't really want advice, they just want to talk about/explore the situation one (or maybe even two) good time(s).

However, that's not what these friends want. These friends want to be upset about things they've been upset about for weeks, months, even years. They want to call me regularly so we can be sad (together) about the same things. Things we've discussed ad nauseum and even in some cases, solutions we've discussed (that they've come up with!).

Moreover, my issue really isn't the whining, it's that they know my M.O. They know I give them an opportunity to whine and be sad but on the 3rd or 4th go at it, I'm ready to discuss solutions -- I mean that's what you want on the 3rd or 4th go -- not for me to continue to coddle you, but to help you think about solutions. Or at least, they know that's what I assume.

It's like asking me for $1M. You know I don't have it so why are you asking me for it? They know I don't do the constant whining and commiserating so why are they coming to me for it and then getting upset with me for not coming through.

This whole thing comes up because a friend has a big event coming up that she's worried about. She comes to me, whining about it, when we've talked about solutions, things to do to stay calm, etc... and even though I attempted to coddle (when what I really wanted to say was, "Really? This is what we're talking about? Again?!" -- and I know she knew that) she still got upset with me because it wasn't enough and got even more upset when I asked her what she wanted me to say.

Makes me wanna tear my hair out!

In any event, I hope you do a post along these lines, I know it'd be insightful.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Lol. Yeah, anxiety is a bitch, ain't it? 'Specially in your friends who are stuck.

Akirah said...

Truth. Though I feel like I've put a few of my friends thru similar crap. I'm a slow learner. And I like to be coddled. But I love to be put in my place.

ackeelover said...

... sometime whiner/whinee here ... slightly off his blog route by happenstance ... good post ...

... two friendly recommendations:

1) peep an old shool Rock Steady Jamaican tune to play for friend "Winey, winey" by The Kingstonians ...

... and 2)change to lower case "p" for "Pre crack Whitney in your faves ... I thought it was a band ...

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