Specifically, Dr. Burgo said these pertinent comments:
Do you have any friends who “unload” or “dump” on you...by talking about their problems forever and showing no interest in you? Do you dread these encounters because you always feel “shitty” afterward? Welcome to the toilet function of friendship.
When Freud first developed the “talking cure,” he recognized that his patients experienced emotional relief after psychoanalytic sessions during which they discussed their difficulties; what he didn’t at first understand was that many of his patients were unconsciously using those sessions as a way to evacuate their pain and unhappiness rather than to gain insight.
...it raises the issue of what it means to be “supportive.” If you continually listen and make sympathetic noises to your friends as they dump all their distress into you, you’re “supporting” a process that offers temporary relief but never leads to personal growth. ...
I've been blogging for a long time now. I guess it took me quite a while before I got fed up with this. But this needs to be said loudly--When blogging friends are full of excuses and complaints about everything and everybody, do not send "((Hugs!!!))" to them.
- When they eat 7 donuts in a row and blame it on stress from work, I repeat, do not send "((Hugs!!!))" to them.
- If they overeat and gain weight during every holiday, do not send "((Hugs!!!))" to them after every holiday.
- If they feel sorry for themselves that they have to restrict their calories (like the rest of us do!), do not send "((Hugs!!!))" to them.
- When they complain about exercising and refuse to exercise due to all sorts of rationalizations, repeating again, do not send "((Hugs!!!))" to them.
I've seen blogs that have masses of enablers who are not helping each other. Rather, they are validating that an unhealthy life is acceptable--over and over with hugs, hugs, and more hugs.
And some bloggers put a smiley face toilet seat cover over their "toilet function" of their blog post. You're reading along and it sounds very cheery until you grasp the undertone and realize that this is all whining, complaints, and rationalizations.
For the occasionally whiny blogger (we all whine once in a while), you can still be a kind person without enabling. Instead, I suggest that you say your own personal version of messages like this:
- Tomorrow is a new day with a new chance to do better.
- Forgive yourself and move forward.
- I believe you can do better than this. *Believe!* in yourself.
- You are *deserving* of a good life. Take loving care of yourself by eating well and exercising.
But if a blog is particularly a "pity party," I suggest that you do not comment at all. Take the "toilet function" entirely out of your blogging: Do not get "shit" upon yourself just because someone is eager to put all of their "shit" up on their blog. Then this person can look at stats of each post and connect the dots that--nobody encourages constant whiners and complainers except other constant whiners and complainers who seek acceptance of their own destructive life patterns.
This is a message of tough love. I want *you* to live your best life. But if (certain of) you endlessly complain or give excuses on your blog, I will not coddle you. I will not enable anyone's destructive behavior by making you feel comfortable or even cozy about it. A true friend does not do that. More and more, I will not leave a comment.
(Last year, I quit following a few bloggers who endlessly made complaints and excuses--every week, every month, perpetually. I am not going to read endless complaints/excuses ever again. I need to keep my own life as positive as I can. I have business clients who pay me to deal with their problems so I can help fix them. There is only so much of my life I can devote to this without getting sucked down into the mire.)
Instead, I expect you to:
Pick yourself back up to try again.
Every. Single. Day.
Without complaints and excuses.
And if you try every day with no whining about it, I will be proud of you. Very proud. And somehow, I know that response is going to make you happier just knowing that I have a high standard for you. And, as many of you know, I truly enjoy each of *your* personal triumphs. Support is powerful--but only if you are a true friend to others.
As for comments, say whatever you feel like saying. Feel free to disagree if you'd like. :D
Have a positive uncomplaining day!
P.S. If you agree, please(!!!) pass this sentiment along at your blog.