Ranters. We know them; we live and work with them. But I have a P.S.A. for those individuals who rant. Some of us have to work really hard to stay in the meadow grasses of the possible and the wide open sky of positivity. Did that imagery not work? Ok, some of us are doing our best with our fingers wrapped onto a branch which is the only thing holding us from wildly flowing into the rapids of negative thinking. But when people rant it literally pushes us further and further away from where we want to be, closer to shore.
Lately, when anyone has ranted to me I literally feel my skin crawl and I’m sure my body language is loudly screaming, “I can’t wait to get away from you”. Because negativity spreads and frustration is contagious and is swift to affect the listener.
Let’s consider the wide range of this type of communication. There is a distinct difference between verbally processing, venting and ranting. For example, if I need to tell a friend about something that happened at work today and about how it was frustrating but there is a point of no return where I turn from a person needing to communicate to a person whose thoughts, words and emotions are out of control.
Verbally processing: the process in which an individual describes the elements of a situation or event to clear their mind of possible reasons, solutions and to help receive acknowledgement or advice on said situation.
Venting: the process or need for someone to listen to communication in which the sharer is emotional. The sharer and the listener have specific jobs which can be confusing based on each person’s expectation for this type of communication.
Ranting: a process for which the ranter needs a release and often demonstrates strong emotion and feeling but doesn’t require immediate advice or assurance from the listener. The venter only requires an audience to be passive part of this type of communication. Often any feedback from the listener is unwelcome or ineffective in the heightened emotional state of the sharer.
Sometimes in life it’s a fight to keep dreams alive much less the belief that day to day realities from crowding in on your belief that you are capable, that your goals and hopes are viable and that there are solutions to some problems that plague us.
I refuse to sink into constant negativity. I refuse to lose hope-or my desire to try solutions, even if they fail sometimes. I want to be a positive influence on those around me-and I want to listen to people who need to share something with me. But I’ve realized over the years that I also need to draw the line-know my own weakness. And I know that my ability to balance my own positivity is interconnected to the communication which surrounds me. Sometimes we do need a rant, but tempered and with the understanding of the reality that my words affect others. Protect those you love-sometimes from your own words.