Keep Talking About Your Problems
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Politics and Activism

Keep Talking About Your Problems

No, that's not sarcastic.

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Keep Talking About Your Problems

Over the past couple weeks, a particular group of my friends have had to deal with something not entirely usual: a breakup. One of our own was, for lack of a better way of putting it, dumped by her boyfriend of nine months; circumstances aren't important, but let's just say maybe they weren't the best match and maybe it wasn't going very far despite their having been together for so long.

But the lack of closure and suddenness of the breakup caused our friend to go in a tailspin. She seemed to have to talk to everyone and their mother about it, and it seemed to be the same thing over and over again. She was upset about the lack of closure, she was upset her now ex-boyfriend didn't want to try harder, etc. Of course, she has every reason to be upset, considering the situation — it certainly is a crappy one. But one of my friends, whose personality is very different from our distressed, angry friend, voiced to me her reserves about the way our friend was going about the situation. She didn't appreciate this negative feedback loop our friend was stuck in — our friend would talk about the original breakup, get upset/angry at her ex, talk about texting him, listen to one of us tell her not to text him, text him anyway, have some sort of brief interaction with him, and then the cycle would start again.

Don't get me wrong — my irritated friend is a lovely person, and a great listener. She just has a different way of dealing with things. I understood where she was coming from, and after she told me this, I couldn't help but start noticing exactly what she was talking about. In a way, it was exhausting the way our friend refused to listen to advice, refused to move past it, and refused to help herself get over the breakup.

At the same time, I had my own reserves about my friend's attitude. After all, people absolutely should feel like they can talk about what's upsetting them. They should be open and willing to share. That's probably what's healthier, and keeps a productive culture of care going.

Isn't that fed-up and annoyed attitude exactly what incites that fear of being a burden? We're always afraid of being seen as a complainer, someone who has too many problems, someone who doesn't know how to man up and deal with it. But it shouldn't be that way. Different things matter to different degrees for different people. In this case, what mattered so much to one friend just didn't come off as important in the grand scheme of things to another friend.

Regardless, it's a two-way street; both sides must be mindful of the other. Personality dynamic is certainly important when considering unloading, lest we inadvertently drive people away with lack of consideration.

No matter what, though, people should be allowed to talk — it's a right, not a privilege.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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