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Do you want help or do you want to wallow?
Old 07-24-2017, 06:38 AM
  #1

Why do you share your problems on PT?

I notice we all come here for occasional help. Just yesterday someone solved a problem for me. And occasionally I just need hugs. But I also notice some who apparently just want to detail their problems. Over and over. Is it helpful to describe the same problems every day for years? Do some people actually get comfort from discomfort?

I'm not being mean. I was taught to be positive, to look for the good. Now I'm wondering what joy people get from concentrating on the negative every day.

What do you think?


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Old 07-24-2017, 06:42 AM
  #2

I try not to dwell on negative. However that is my personality even in real life.

On this board, I will try to encourage or give a hug if I can. Other times I just keep my thoughts to myself
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:45 AM
  #3

I work hard
to focus on the positives in life. I dont read posts that are negative,& tend to avoid posters who are negative. I dont need that in my life.
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I try to keep it positive.
Old 07-24-2017, 06:53 AM
  #4

That may be construed as hiding the bad and showcasing the good, but I don't like to post negative things. I'm a private person for the most part, but I have gotten help from PT friends several times when I had a personal problem too. Generally, if I have a problem, I might post about it, and update if I feel a need, but I hope I wouldn't wallow in it.
There are so many different kinds of people on PT, with different needs and talents. Some don't have anyone else to talk to, and there's always someone here to listen.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:54 AM
  #5

I went through a time where I vented on here often enough over the course of a year or so. It was about the same thing, but different situations. I really didn't want/need advice as I really don't think there was anything I could do differently, but I needed an outlet. Couldn't really talk to anyone in real life.

Didn't stop people from giving me advice (YOu screwed up from the beginning. I would have done this... )

I am generally a positive person. I don't think I have vented about much other than that. But I think there are people who are not so positive and need an outlet like I did.


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Interesting thought...
Old 07-24-2017, 06:59 AM
  #6

Positive people can also be faced with negative situations. Turning a blind eye toward a negative situation is not facing reality. Wallowing in a situation, however, is not healthy and that is different. I suppose some PTers do that.
However, people need people and their kinds thoughts, words and powerful prayers. Positive people share their positivity with others and sometimes need it in return. Thank God PTers are there to help. And it may be, for some PTers, it is possible, their virtual friends may be all they have.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:02 AM
  #7

I've posted about various things. I think when I have posted about inlaws, I really just wanted to vent.

But when I posted about having a miscarriage and the aftermath, I needed support in that situation.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:04 AM
  #8

Some of both. I try not to wallow but his has been a rough winter/spring and I have always been one to smile through my trials and know there are always people with a lot worse issues. But this surgery thing really got me down and into a very, very, dark hole. Sharing here has kept me going with the encouragement and sympathy. I really don't have close friends and my sister is so far away and caught up in her issues. And I can share here in the dark of the night when you can't exactly call someone.

You have been an incredible example to me as you care for your husband and try to maintain some sense of time for yourself. I enjoy your post they are uplifting.

As I read the post of the younger people I find myself thinking back to when my kids were young. I wonder how different my life would have been to have had a place to vent, ask questions, air concerns. I'm so glad I didn't have Pinterest I'd been a nervous wreck keeping up with all the ideas.

Not sure I answered your questions.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:27 AM
  #9

I share my problems occasionally because it helps me feel less alone. Sometimes it feels good to lay it all out there and not have to hold back for whatever reason.

Regardless, I love to read what people post. I think it makes me a better human. It helps me see things from many perspectives.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:49 AM
  #10

I don't think Amiga was suggesting that people not post about their problems.

But some people do just wallow in their trouble. They post repeatedly about the same problem(s) but seem unwilling to change anything or take a chance or work toward a solution. They won't even slam a door or walk through one. They want to hear words of support and reassurance. It does seem like some people just want to bask in the pity of others. And some people love to validate that need.


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Old 07-24-2017, 08:01 AM
  #11

Some of both. I feel like I'm somewhat negative on here. I whine and complain here so that I can stay positive IRL. It's an outlet. I know there is (almost) always support, advice, and different perspectives here. And I know people who don't want to read it can just scroll on by.
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If I don't fixate on the negative
Old 07-24-2017, 08:05 AM
  #12

I got nothing.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:19 AM
  #13

I think people come on here for all different reasons and we should be respectful and receptive to everyone. If we don't want to read or respond, we don't have to.

Personally, I come on here for a variety of reasons - Post questions, get a variety of opinions, learn about different people's lives, and get support if something is hard. I know I am a more positive person outwardly in real life, but pt is a place where I can get out more of my inner thoughts.

I hope this thread doesn't make anyone feel bad because they post more for support. We all lead different lives and we truly don't know the person and their life story behind the screen. Some people need ongoing encouragement and support due to different issues they are facing or due to a lack of support they have in real life.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:23 AM
  #14

Haha, Hifi!

Well, I'm kind of in the middle of a little problem myself and I was telling my friend. She had good suggestions, but they were things that I already explored and they wouldn't work. I felt like I had to go into detail or otherwise it would just seem like I was dismissing the suggestion.

I think if someone brings up a problem, it's something that is weighing on them emotionally. So for someone else just to say, "Oh that's no big deal--just do this!" it kind of feels like the other person isn't seeing your problem. Sometimes that is helpful when there is a very easy realistic solution, but in other cases, the solver isn't seeing the complexity of the problem.

I'm not saying that you're being dismissive and it can be annoying when other people seem to be posting the same thing over and over, but maybe there's just something going on that's making everything more stressful.

I know this got really long, but I have to share this story. One time, a fellow teacher was telling a story about how she got pulled over on the way to work, the policeman yelled at her, and she cried. Another teacher said, "Oh, you need to let that go!" and started talking about something else. It just didn't seem compassionate.

Sorry this was all over the place.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:32 AM
  #15

Honestly, if I had a really serious personal problem, I probably would not post it here. I only post about minor dilemmas or funny things I have noticed. Sometimes just to see where other people are coming from on them.

I hope I don't complain too much. Some of the situations I complain about here are not really worth getting upset about and I realize that.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:33 AM
  #16

For me, I just like to get things out. A simple 'yea that would bother me too' is all I need sometimes to let go.

Advice is good and appreciated but just listening to a problem can be helpful as well.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:41 AM
  #17

I apologize to those of you who decided I wasn't "compassionate." I love PT! I post the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I want your insight. I love reading about your lives.

I guess I wasn't clear in my original post. It certainly wasn't my intent to make anyone "feel bad" as PEPTeach characterizes it.

I'm a problem solver, a doer. I'd rather make the wrong decision than to not act at all. I guess I was trying to say that I'd like to understand what people who perpetually describe the same problem get from doing that.
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:10 AM
This message has been deleted by Coopsgrammy. Reason: Posted on wrong thread
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:11 AM
  #18

When I post a thread, I genuinely want help, not really to vent. Every once in a rare while, I may post a venting thread. I title my posts clearly so people know what my purpose is.
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:34 AM
  #19

I know what you mean! I figure some people just feel better by writing it out. As they become familiar to me, I avoid reading their posts. I know I can't help and reading their negativity won't help me either. It's not a perfect world, and we all deal with our issues in different ways. Some are more healthy, some are not.

Coopsgrammy! Utah! You brought back memories. But the town I was in would really frown on the beer.
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:44 AM
  #20

I almost posted something very similar to this! I typed out a whole post about the reasons for posting on PT (with a very similar concept to your post, amiga!), but then deleted. It didn't come out like I intended.

Quote:
Now I'm wondering what joy people get from concentrating on the negative every day.
I don't think there is any joy- I think that's the point. It's not productive or uplifting to "admire the problem," it's just good old fashioned wallowing. I think most of us like to wallow sometimes, but when it's constant, it just makes you feel worse about yourself.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:05 AM
  #21

i've been working very hard on the mantra "you do YOU." i don't need to worry about what or why anyone does what they do.

i come to PT to ask for advice, occasionally brag, and sometimes whine. as a PP noted, i probably vent here more so that i don't have to do it IRL.

i hope nobody is caring or counting how much i do of one or the other. i certainly am not keeping track (of myself or of others).

i like to think of PT as a place i can go to get anything i need or be able to say (for the most part) anything i'd like to get off my chest. i would hate for someone to feel that this is no longer that place for them.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:05 AM
  #22

Amiga I just have to say this. Using the word "wallow" does not feel compassionate to me. People have different levels of resilience when dealing with life's challenges, especially if they are depressed and feeling hopeless. I don't think they necessarily choose to concentrate on the negative each day and I'm sure they coninually beat themselves up for being stuck in that loop. As a few others have said, PT may be the only place some have to reach out to for support and understanding.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:09 AM
  #23

It's also important to remember that PT is only one very small part of people's lives. So even if it appears that someone is "wallowing" from your perspective, it might only be a tiny fraction of that person's life spent venting about the problem.

We also don't know the whole story ever. Even the biggest oversharers on PT are only showing us one fraction of the story.

Oh, and to answer your question, anything I post on PT, I want an answer to. There's no point, imo, of putting personal problems online unless I'm getting value from it. Since I have plenty of real life friends and family to vent frustrations to and gain sympathy from, I don't need PT for that. I need PT for answers my friends and family don't have. Some people need PT for the sympathy and safe space. That's not necessarily wallowing.
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Wallow ;)
Old 07-24-2017, 10:20 AM
  #24

I want to wallow for a minute....then pull myself up by my bootstraps and move on.

DH and I get into it because he vents about work troubles and I tell him how to fix them and he just wants to vent.

Evidently, we've reversed typical gender roles in this matter.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:23 AM
  #25

I get what you are saying, Amiga.

I think that there are some people who do dwell on the negative. I have a cousin who always needs to one up when you are going through something tough. It is different from trying to sympathize by giving examples, it is more, "You think you have it rough? Let me tell you what I am going through..."

It reminds me a lot of the kids that we teach. When they misbehave, a lot of time they are seeking attention. I see people who dwell on the negative the same way.

Still, I think there are others who it is therapeutic to vent. It is a way to unload and get troubles off their chest, much like speaking with a professional.

I am a fixer. I tend to give suggestions or input even if the poster doesn't want or ask for advice. That is just who I naturally am. If something is wrong, I want to fix it in some way. Sometimes that is not at all the point of the post, but that strong pull is still there for me.

If I share a problem on PT, I am looking for different views from the view that I currently have. Often there are posts that make me see a different side of a situation and that helps me to problem solve.
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:36 AM
  #26

Thanks, friends.

This is the definition of wallow that I intended (#1 is of an animal and I don't think that applies). WalkDon'tRun, how am I not compassionate for using that word?
Quote:
2. (of a person) indulge in an unrestrained way in (something that creates a pleasurable sensation).
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Old 07-24-2017, 10:41 AM
  #27

Some people like to vent all the time and never have their listening ears on. They complain and sometimes ask for advice but never change their minds about anything.

I like to complain, but I try to be open about receiving other people's opinions.
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Sometimes, just sometimes...
Old 07-24-2017, 10:53 AM
  #28

I need a kick on the pants. I don't often get stuck, and I am uplifted by your support and great ideas and solutions. But, every once in awhile, I need a push to move forward. You all seem to know what I need!

I try my best to be nurturing and positive irl and in my posts, and to give posters what they need.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:04 AM
  #29

I understand what you are saying amiga.

There are some threads I don't open because of who the OP is because it is going to be a same stuff, different day situation. It's kind of like certain FB posts, I just scroll on by.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:12 AM
  #30

I, like Amiga, am a "fixer." I hate seeing people in a difficult situation and I want them to be in a better place. I know what it's like to feel like that, trapped, unhappy. It's horrible. I don't want my fellow PTers to feel like that. So when people vent, I want to offer advice and ways to help. I don't if they specify that it's just a vent or if it's something just horrible (like a death). But other situations? Yeah, I'm there to offer advice. I'd expect it from the rest of you unless I specify that I'm just venting.
I don't keep track of how many times people complain versus how much they post or respond about other stuff. I don't think anybody does.
I can't help but notice, however, that some people frequently post about the same difficult situation. Sometimes the situation is one that no amount of advice will "make right" (I think you're in a tough situation yourself Amiga and I know others who are struggling through difficult periods of illness, trouble within relationships, death or sickness of loved ones). Those are times that are just hard.
But sometimes there are situations that can be better. When people post often about these difficult situations but refuse to try anything to make them better, it makes me wonder why they are making the choices they do. It's like the parents who can't make time to see that their children read daily or attend a full day of school on a regular basis but their kids are playing video games or attending baseball practice or whatever.
Sometimes I think it is a matter of a certain sense of happiness in the "Woe is Me" category. I have an acquaintance like that. She seems to enjoy the martyrdom. I feel sorry for her family.
I was listening to a podcast and the presenter (podcaster?) discussed decisions as a conflict between your present self and your future self at times. Present self is there telling you to hey eat the ice cream!! Future self isn't really there to tell you no, don't ruin the diet.
Does that make sense?
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:35 AM
  #31

Merrimack Webster defines wallow as " to become or remain helpless"

I do apologize for the accusation--I realize now that it's my baggage rearing its head. My youngest brother lived a woe is me life. He was offered so much support from family and caused so much stress and worry for my parents especially as they grew older. He died alone and he laid alone for 10 days before family discovered he was gone. I have struggled with whether I turned my back on him, whether I showed him enough compassion for his inability find happiness in his life. I feel such guilt that I hated to be around him because of his negativity, but still I loved him because he was my brother. So, my concern is for those whose struggle is so deep.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:43 AM
  #32

Quote:
Merrimack Webster defines wallow as " to become or remain helpless"
Even still...is it dispassionate to wonder why people might become or remain helpless?

And I do think amiga meant it in the sense of nearly enjoying misery and becoming mired in it instead of taking steps to rectify the situation. We all know people who seem to relish misery.
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Old 07-24-2017, 12:59 PM
  #33

WalkDontRun, I understand how much family dynamics can color one's responses to things. In fact, I have a very similar situation with my younger brother. He has always just retreated from the world, complained about how he's been screwed over, not treated fairly, etc. He thinks I've had more opportunity (He and I who were raised together). Anyway, I know logically that it's depression, and I try to be compassionate, but I've also had to pull away for my own sanity. He's actually done some very toxic things to our relationship in the past few years, and even though I try to be compassionate, I also have to pull away and not get dragged down under. I hope that makes sense.

As for this board, I read all kinds of threads - happy threads, sad threads, proud threads, vents, etc. Sometimes I do think that people just want a safe place to vent, and sometimes I think people are looking for other perspectives. And sometimes they want to share good ideas, and sometimes brag (which I don't say judgmentally - I love brags!), and some times people just want to kvetch.

I rarely ever start a thread, and I don't really even post that much, but I do read a lot. I guess I am kind of private IRL, so that translates to here too.
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:10 PM
  #34

When I've posted on PT for big stuff...death/serious illness in my family, serious marriage stress, overwhelming periods of life that aren't going away...I usually want prayers and online friends to commiserate with me. Kind of an "oh poor baby", or an "I'm thinking of you."

If I need help, I say I need ideas, to hear of your experiences, and so forth.

I think some people perpetually feel a "woe is me" and post as such because they know of no other way to communicate. They've not had firsthand models of appropriate joy and celebration. There are so many examples of such in my every day!

I have a coworker I am still friends with on facebook, but blocked from my timeline because all she does is complain. She'd complain her hot fudge sundae was too chocolatey. Who needs that in her life? Not this girl!
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:44 PM
  #35

I definitely want help if I ask for it. I do NOT wallow and actually constant negativity really gets to me. PLEASE solve my problems. Im afraid I may be beyond fixing for the amateur though.

Amiga, I admire how you deal with taking care of your husband and having tough circumstances and still offering positivity to others. That says a lot about you. I did not read this as you being mean or not compassionate.
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:06 PM
  #36

Wallowing is not healthy. Sometimes people are just overwhelmed and need some support or a friendly response. I know I do sometimes, especially after a hard day. I listen to advice and try to offer advice when I can but sometimes it takes time for people to figure their way out of a hard time. I've said it before but I really appreciate PT. It's a lot better than venting about coworkers at work. When I come on here, I can really understand other opinions without wrecking my reputation or work relationships and then act accordingly.
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:33 PM
  #37

I think sometimes a person who keeps having the same problem and continues having it is because they are not yet in a place where they feel they are able act on it to change their situation. Maybe underlying issues of anxiety, insecurity, low self esteem...these are hard to overcome and very difficult to change, even when one recognizes it in themselves. For these people, they may post on a day they are feeling particularly in stress overload, and mostly could use a hug.
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I get what you are saying....
Old 07-24-2017, 02:47 PM
  #38

and , for me at least, I think there are some people who actually like the repeated attention they receive when they are "so upset."
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:58 PM
  #39

It does not matter to me what the purpose of the post is. In reality any post is a signal to chat with someone so that in itself may be perceived as needy. I really don't care. If I feel like chatting , I respond to a thread or start a thread.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:11 PM
  #40

I post here when I don't want to talk to a person in real life. I feel like PT people are more supportive. Everyone in my life doesn't want to hear it. Most people don't keep things to themselves either.
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:29 PM
  #41

I'm mostly a lurker. I've noticed some people talk about the same problem or situation or person again and again.

I've also noticed those same people are the most supportive of others when they post their own problems.

I always want answers and input. I also tend to accidentally come off as insensitive. Then I notice a couple of "wallowers" come off with much grace and sensitivity.

I think the difference may do with how sensitive we are, how forward we are, and how we problem solve. Do we shoot from the hip? Or do we empathize and bond through it?
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problems
Old 07-24-2017, 08:08 PM
  #42

Some days I just need a place to vent or say something without feeling judged. I definitely don't get any pleasure out of talking about my problems.

I agree with Nucleus' post.
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Old 07-24-2017, 08:18 PM
  #43

I try my best to be encouraging and positive, but sometimes, and I know almost always it pertains to my daughter, I feel like I cannot take it anymore and just have to cry on some shoulders. Sometimes I want advice but often I just want empathy, hugs and most especially , prayers.

I also want to say I know you are struggling on a daily basis because of your husband's health. We continue to be here for you and you and he are both in my prayers. (((HUGS)))

Nancy
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Old 07-24-2017, 09:45 PM
  #44

I don't think anyone is wallowing. pT is cheaper than therapy and you can "talk" about your problems without verbalizing them. Some of us have much more difficult lives than others. I've read posts where people vent about the continuation of a problem, but I don't see it as wallowing.
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:25 AM
  #45

You said what I have been thinking, but I didn't quite know how to word it.
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Why do I share my problems on PT?
Old 07-25-2017, 08:56 PM
  #46

From a poster's perspective, when I share a problem, I will be real obvious as to what I hope to receive from my PT friends. If I need advice or comments or fixing, I will ask. If I am just venting, I'll say that, too.

From a responder's POV, I will try to offer support if a person is just venting. I will not offer prayers unless they're asked for. I will try to give good advice if that is what the poster is asking for.

I got so when I needed to speak to my principal, I would tell her straight out what I was looking for. I think it helped things although maybe that's just how I felt.

My apologies for ending way too many sentences with for. Just not in the mood to figure out how to fix them.
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