Most of us have at least a few Facebook friends who share way too much information. They are sharing way too much for us to be comfortable. One friend of mine seems to use her Facebook posts to vent her frustrations with all of the little things that disturb and disrupt. While she is doing this on Facebook, there are many others that publicly vent their frustrations to anyone who will listen. You are familiar with the pattern. On Facebook, you hear about all of the negative things that happen in people’s daily lives, such as their frustrations with strangers, traffic, and co-workers. In life, you also hear the same frustrations. They are mad at the doctor who made them wait 45 minutes, the waiter at the restaurant who repeatedly forgot cream for the coffee, and so on.
Most of us have probably been guilty of this negative venting or whining from time to time. I know that I have. Whenever it happens, I feel badly afterwards, because I realize that I was not adding to others’ days. Instead, I was unloading all of my negative energy onto them, and expecting them to carry some of it around. Yes, there are times when we all have problems, people, and situations, and we need to analyze and deal with the negative feelings that arise in us. That is when we send a direct message or have a cup of coffee with an understanding friend. We need to have someone who can listen and advise on how to move beyond the negative feelings. We don’t need to continue to just put our negative ideas out into the world.
Take the time to consider what you are saying, how it will affect others, and what you hope to do by sharing. Sharing the small, seemingly insignificant details of our day can bring us closer to others and invite relationship, but we have to decide which details we want to share. It may be that we have grown so accustomed to looking at the negatives at our day that we cannot even see the positives to share.
For example, I could tell you all about the allergy and sinus issues I am having. I could tell you about not being able to hear anything and feeling like my head is full of cotton. I could give graphic detail to the amount of tissues and cough drops required to get through my day. I could go on and explain the weak blood vessel that means sinus issues always turn into bloody noses. I could go on and on about just how lousy I feel at the moment.
Or, I could look for and elaborate on the positives. I could tell you how blessed I am that my family let me sleep in this morning. I could tell you what a blessing it is that I have a job that sometimes allows me to sleep late, and that today I was able to sleep until I woke up. I could tell you how grateful I am for over-the-counter medications that are able to provide me some temporary relief. I could tell you how grateful I am that my most significant medical issues are allergies and sinuses.
If I focus on the difficulties, then they seem to grow larger. If I focus on the positives, then they grow larger. It is up to us what we focus on and what we share. So the next time you are going to post or have a conversation, consider your purpose and the effects of your words. Your words affect the people around you and yourself, so choose wise words.