venting

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

venting

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:09 pm

From a Buddhist perspective is "venting" ever justified, is it ever actually cathartic or healthy, or is it always negative?

When others vent, how should we react, what is the best way for instance to react to someone venting about their job, where is the line between being supportive/understanding of someone's problems, and supporting their obsessive thinking?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2703
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: venting

Postby Indrajala » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:35 pm

Speaking in anger, even if what you say is true, is unwholesome karma, the result of which is always suffering. I'm guilty of this sin a lot.

If something needs to be addressed and discussed, then ideally it should be discussed without any anger or ill-will present in the mind. If one's problems with others or a situation are not addressed, then naturally it can build up and lead to further issues.

Open communication can resolve a lot of problems before they become predicaments.

Listening to someone's problems can be therapeutic for them, though affirming their neurotic tendencies will only add fuel to the fire.

I think complaining about work is inevitable, especially when you work in a closed environment with people who fail to respect the needs of others (like relative quiet). In my experience the complaining only makes me feel worse unless it is followed up by decisive action aimed at resolving the problem(s).
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: venting

Postby gordtheseeker » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:02 pm

Huseng wrote:Listening to someone's problems can be therapeutic for them, though affirming their neurotic tendencies will only add fuel to the fire.


Isn't that the truth!
gordtheseeker
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: venting

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:12 pm

I recall Bardor Tulku Rinpoche once telling a friend of mind that it is better to calm the mind,
rather than to get everything all stirred up.

Aside from that great advice,
it seems to me
Sometimes it seems you just have to let out a lot of "emotional pressure"
so make sure you are mindful and not just exploding, and then go back
and look at all the things that were part of what you had to vent about
and see that much of what angers us
is that things are going contrary to some
fixed idea we have about ourselves.
Then, you can see what you can let go of.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: venting

Postby randomseb » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:26 am

While outwardly pouring out your neuroses may not be an adequate response, it was explained to me recently that suppressing these negative feelings is also not an adequate response, but rather one should accept them, examine them for their originating conditions, let them flow through and do their thing, and they will depart. Whereas suppressing them from some ill conceived idea that one should avoid these sorts of things only deepens the neurosis by having them take root and nest in what our shrinks would call the subconscious, and failing to discover and address their causes, yes?

Apparently "negative things" can be your greatest aid along the road to awakening

:techproblem: :applause:
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
User avatar
randomseb
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:12 am

Re: venting

Postby dude » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:05 am

randomseb wrote:While outwardly pouring out your neuroses may not be an adequate response, it was explained to me recently that suppressing these negative feelings is also not an adequate response, but rather one should accept them, examine them for their originating conditions, let them flow through and do their thing, and they will depart. Whereas suppressing them from some ill conceived idea that one should avoid these sorts of things only deepens the neurosis by having them take root and nest in what our shrinks would call the subconscious, and failing to discover and address their causes, yes?

Apparently "negative things" can be your greatest aid along the road to awakening

:techproblem: :applause:




I very much concur.
dude
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

Re: venting

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:02 am

Some great answers here, but I am really less concerned ( well maybe it would be more accurate to say it's less complicated) for myself and venting than I am when I am around someone else doing it, it's hard to know what the right track to take is.

It seems like there is such a fine line between being a shoulder to cry on, and just allowing someone else to get carried away on the roller coaster of "why, why, why".
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2703
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: venting

Postby greentara » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:13 am

Dear ones.. does someone need to hear this right now?

Remember not to take anything too personally.

Remember that when someone reacts it is usually because they are triggered by something personal in them and not at all about you. In this way you will not engage in aggression that is not useful. You do not not have to attend every argument you are invited to.

Sometimes people have a lot of battles going inside them, and though it seems unfair that they take it out on others - they are the only ones who need to deal with things and be responsible for their thoughts, choices and actions. It has nothing to do with you. You can try and choose to not react. Simply disengage and walk away.

Do not let any one drain away your positive energy and your power. You can help people... but you cannot be a door mat to other people's whims and moods all the time.

Unconditional loving means sometimes to back away a few paces and let the other person realize and learn their own lessons.

Love, be there, be compassionate, be kind, but always know and understand when it is quite all right to say, 'Enough is enough.'

Sometimes all you can do is Love - and let it be.

anonymous
greentara
 
Posts: 928
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:03 am

Re: venting

Postby Jikan » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:26 pm

Huseng wrote:Speaking in anger, even if what you say is true, is unwholesome karma, the result of which is always suffering. I'm guilty of this sin a lot.

If something needs to be addressed and discussed, then ideally it should be discussed without any anger or ill-will present in the mind. If one's problems with others or a situation are not addressed, then naturally it can build up and lead to further issues.

Open communication can resolve a lot of problems before they become predicaments.

Listening to someone's problems can be therapeutic for them, though affirming their neurotic tendencies will only add fuel to the fire.

I think complaining about work is inevitable, especially when you work in a closed environment with people who fail to respect the needs of others (like relative quiet). In my experience the complaining only makes me feel worse unless it is followed up by decisive action aimed at resolving the problem(s).


:good:
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5494
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: venting

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:18 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Some great answers here, but I am really less concerned ( well maybe it would be more accurate to say it's less complicated) for myself and venting than I am when I am around someone else doing it, it's hard to know what the right track to take is. It seems like there is such a fine line between being a shoulder to cry on, and just allowing someone else to get carried away on the roller coaster of "why, why, why".

Well, you can either listen to them or tell them to shut up.
Listening is a good thing to do.
What experience has told me is that most people who vent...in whatever style,
really do not want your opinion anyway, they just want to complain about things.
So, the question is, after the venting is over, then what?
What experience has told me is that most people who vent
will not take your advice or helpful suggestions.
They only want to be reassured that they are in the right,
that their feelings are important, and that what they think and do matters.
So, here is my suggestion.
The venting has to be a little more challenging.
I know a young woman who always brings the conversation around
to something she can complain about.
ALWAYS!
So, I told her, "you have a lot of good opinions! I think what you have to say is important.
Why don't you start a blog? That way, you'd have a constructive way to express yourself,
and you might make a real difference!"

So now, whenever she vents, I just ask her how her blog is coming along
and she usually changes the subject to something less "ventful".
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: venting

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:58 pm

Heh, nice. I think i'm gonna try that one out.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2703
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: venting

Postby gordtheseeker » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:57 pm

I wonder if telling them some truth, even if you knew it would offend them, would be considered a form of compassion? I know of some people who just can't get over certain issues, and are always venting about it. Sometimes I think they just need some cold hard truth to get woken up. Is it doing someone a disservice to let them wallow in their misery? As Huseng said " affirming their neurotic tendencies will only add fuel to the fire.
gordtheseeker
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:01 pm

Re: venting

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:12 am

Hit a bag, join a mixed martial arts gym. Many things out there to manage stress.
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: venting

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:24 am

I think he problem with "venting" (something I suffer from) is that it sets up (bad) habits based on reacting with anger, rather than forming (good) habits based on acting to deal with the cause of the issue in an intelligent/wise manner.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9957
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: venting

Postby dude » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:38 am

gordtheseeker wrote:I wonder if telling them some truth, even if you knew it would offend them, would be considered a form of compassion? I know of some people who just can't get over certain issues, and are always venting about it. Sometimes I think they just need some cold hard truth to get woken up. Is it doing someone a disservice to let them wallow in their misery? As Huseng said " affirming their neurotic tendencies will only add fuel to the fire.


Yes indeed.
Compassionate listening as a first step is important. One who is suffering may need to get it off their chest and will be encouraged just to know someone understands.
As the saying goes, however, good medicine tastes bitter, and a good teacher, a good parent, or a good friend administers discipline at times.
dude
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am


Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests

>