“My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant, and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual.”~ Phyllis Diller

So one of my best friends just called me and good grief she was pissed!! (Word to the wise: NEVER piss off a redhead.)

She informed me as to why she was so angry and then told me about how she felt about the situation. I sat there practically silent and waited for her to either just hang up or announce that she was done ranting and venting.

By the time she hung up the phone, she thanked me for allowing her to do that. She’s fine now and said she felt better.

And if anyone knows me, they know that I am the kind of person that is going to allow her and just about anyone else to get things off of their chest, particularly if they are close to me as the person is in this case. So I had no problem with it, yet I was smiling at the end when she thanked me. Perhaps a rare occurence when people rant and vent to me about whatever.

It got me to thinking about something. There’s a lot of ranting and venting that goes on in this day and age. And a lot of it is really not handled in the best of ways. I think that a lot of the times people just bitch and moan and scream all that they want, and that they think its okay because all they are doing is venting. There’s a difference between flying off at the mouth and getting things off your chest.

There is or at least there should be an unspoken ideal that ranting should be done responsibly. Both for the person who is talking, and for the person who is supposed to be listening.

There is nothing wrong with a rant. There is nothing wrong with getting things off your chest. However, if the person who is doing the ranting just goes on and on and on and on without any regard for the person who is listening, then what are they doing, really?? Basically nine times out of ten, they are just talking and screaming only to hear themselves speak. And that’s where the wrongful doing comes into effect.

If something is bothering you, and you know you have someone that will listen to you and you trust them… it is okay to go to them. It is okay to get things out in the clear and search for some kind of peace in a moment of turmoil. But it turns into something bad and NOT okay when you just do it … only to do it and whenever you want to do it. That is what is called “taking advantage of someone”.

Even though in that exact moment where you are letting loose, have some compassion towards others. If you abuse your friends, you will surely lose them in the end. They will scatter like the breeze because they have reached their limitations to what they can handle from all of your screaming.

There is a line. Make sure that you know where it is.

And it also goes for those who are listening. We do listen because we care. We do listen because we want to be able to be there for those whom we care about. So when it is our turn to listen, we need to do so with great intent on hearing everything that is being said, without blowing it off. Believing that whatever it is that they are saying to us is not important would be a mistake because it obviously is for them. Listeners too, must have compassion. We must realize that in that moment, they are not “okay”, and you clearly would want them to be okay in the end. Do not take them for granted.

Sometimes it will be a case of the listener having the opportunity to provide feedback or advice, other times it will just be the case of being there and shutting up. A lot of the times, those who are listening don’t have to say anything because the person who is ranting is already comforted by that fact that you are there and listening. And their battles are already half over.

In my own opinion, I feel it necessary to provide feedback and advice/suggestions. Particularly in cases that are more detailed. If it is just a quick growl and then you are feeling better, then perhaps feedback is not called for. But for those times when a rant or a vent becomes “a therapeutic session”, then yes: I will feel obliged to offer my feedback and suggestions for you. Whether you follow the advice that I give (knowing that I am not a professional), is up to you. But if you don’t- and things get worse because you don’t, then you don’t have much of a leg to stand on to come back and complain some more.

But as I said, not all of the time will feedback be warranted.

Treat them with kindness. Again, with compassion.

I do receive a lot of people who rant when they speak to me. It is because they have been told by me that it is okay for them to do so. Which has been my choice. In fact to those people that are within my inner circle, I encourage it.

No, there are not a lot of times where I am able to rant and vent when I would like to. Is it fair? Probably not. But that’s just the way it is. These people who are close to me, know its okay to go on ranting and rambling. And they also know that as long as they feel better when they are done, then I’m okay with it.

I’ve always been there for friends and loved ones and I am sure that I always will be. And who knows, perhaps there will come a time when they will reciprocate. But currently, I haven’t much to rant to them about personally. It seems a bit better at the moment for me to listen, rather than to speak.

So please rant responsibly. Know that it takes two. And both individuals that are involved, are humans with feelings and emotions. Don’t trample them by taking advantage or just up and dismissing them.

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