Don’t Wear It on Your Sleeve

     Some sound advice: Don’t wear your shit on your sleeve and don’t dump your woes on other people. Trust me, nobody wants to hear it.

     When you walk into a room flashing your every woe, you are bringing everybody down with you. This sort of victim affect is not only immature, but it is selfish and actually somewhat narcissistic. No it’s not wrong to suffer and yes I understand that life is tough sometimes, but when we are spending time with others, the right thing to do is to suck it up. When our countenance is completely saturated by our negative thoughts and feelings, it makes others uncomfortable. Do we not have a duty to act in a way that we would recommend to others?

     There used to be this guy at the gym who loved to dump his woes on me. Some people might say the right thing to do is to listen to him and allow him to go off as much as he wishes, but that is the wrong approach. What he needed to do was to get over it, stop focusing so much on his problems, take some action and move forward. He needed to get over himself.

     Talking is not a solution, obviously. Sure we love to be heard and to let it rain down on anyone who will listen… but the relief, if you can call it that, is fleeting at best. Nothing really changes. Circumstances don’t change. Your life doesn’t change. Even the thoughts and feelings that bother you don’t really change. They are temporarily masked by blabbing on and on, but once the woe-dumping session is over, they return with haste… and you are compelled to find a new host to emotionally blood-suck.

     How easy it is to assign responsibility for our own self-created and self-accumulated garbage. Victims believe that all of their negative thoughts, feelings and life circumstances are the fault of something or someone outside of themselves, which is, of course, totally false. And while we remain in this delusional state of mind, we feel as though our experience is somehow novel, different, and tougher than everybody else’s, so we wear it all over our bodies as if it’s something tangible, palpable. You can almost see the weight that some of us carry around, sighing heavily, hunched over and so forth.

     Victims who outwardly suffer are like those ‘never-lose-suction’ Dyson vacuums, sucking every ounce of emotional energy you have left to give. And while addicts are usually guilty of this sort of manipulative homeostasis, if you will, many non-addicts do this as well. Unfortunately, we now live in a culture that breeds this sort of dependent, victim-like behavior and frame of mind. But that doesn’t mean it’s right.

     So for the holiday season, let us addicts, codependents, and other like-minded ‘victims’ out there step back a few feet and think about those who have to suffer our presence when we decide to wear it on our sleeves and dump our shit on anybody and everybody who will listen. Do we really want to be that way? And if the roles were reversed, would we really want to deal with that?

Also see: Victim Mentality & Humility 

God, please give me the maturity and willingness not to dump my woes on others or wear them on my sleeve…

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