By Sophia Sajan (’22)
“I feel like all the problems that I have just aren’t listened to and understood by my friends and all my achievements aren’t either. I always care for everyone and celebrate everyone and give up my time but no one does it for me and it’s tiring.”
As someone who is dubbed the “mom”, or the “therapist” of my friend group, it is no fun to listen to everyone else’s problems when you feel like you cannot talk about your own. I love being there for everyone, but every once and a while a girl needs to whine about her own problems.
Support should go two ways; when you allow your friends a place to sit and vent for an hour, you should be allowed to share your own struggles in turn. Find yourself a place where you can go during these times. Just because someone talks to you doesn’t mean they are mature enough of a person (no shade) to listen to your problems.
Venting is an important coping mechanism that is perfectly healthy for you to want to do on a daily basis. It reduces your stress, it’s that simple! If people come to you often, it is because you respond positively and validate their emotions through the use of empathy. Inner workings aside, that is a rare gift. Most teenager’s brains aren’t developed enough to even actively demonstrate a form of empathy at all, meaning that you will find oftentimes it is hard to vent about your own stressors.
When you feel that you want to talk through everything that is stressing you out, find someone you know who can actively listen and will respond positively to your feelings. This way, you can still be supportive of everyone but also have your own support system in place.
Something important to keep in mind: none of your friends want to hear about the same problem every single day. Do not go around in circles. That kind of venting will keep you stuck. The slippery slope that is venting is a deep hole that can leave you feeling worse than before if all you do is say the same thing over and over. How can you fix that fight you had with your best friend if all you do is talk about it with your other best friend?
When you want to talk, talk. Saying something processes the information differently than when you think about it. Afraid of being judged for that one time it occured to you that you could simply yeet your dog out the window if you wanted to? Say it out loud. Alone.
Talking to yourself helps your brain work through various scenarios. Yeah, you may look a little crazy shouting to nobody in particular on your walk to Walgreens to buy doritos, but as far as they know you have airpods in! You’re totally on a phone call. Obviously.
Feel like a crazy person by speaking to nobody?
Write it down.
Writing works the same way as venting to somebody would. Ever noticed how when you say things out loud they come out differently than when they were in your head? You have to organise thoughts/feelings into a logical, coherent order, then find the correct words to portray them. Your brain is doing all that work in a split second to allow you to let the Great Starbucks Thief incident go. I know, you lost your vanilla frap with a shot of peppermint that you spent your enrichment fee money on –and what kind of human being could do that to someone else? What has humanity become? — but there’s nothing you can do! Face it; your glorious, tastes-just-like-Christmas Starbucks Frappuccino is gone, just like all that time you wasted complaining about it while trying on Hollister jeans at the mall.