Bitching: We all do it. We're human; it happens.
As a coach, I've come to appreciate that there is a huge difference between bitching and bitching effectively.
While I deal with a fair amount of both, I am definitely a fan of the latter for the simple reason that it makes life easier in the long run.
In order to understand why, it's important to understand what it means to bitch effectively. So, without further ado, I present to you the 10 Commandments of Effective Bitching:
1. Thou Shalt Choose Wisely To Whom Thou Shalt Bitch
First thing's first, it is absolutely crucial you're aware of who will have the joy of listening to your emotional tirade. Pick someone whose opinions you respect and who will be able to give you good advice.
Ask yourself, is this person mentally, emotionally and psychologically equipped to hear not just what I'm saying, but also everything I'm not?
Effective bitching isn't just about getting relief, it's also about resolving and moving forward. Pick a good teammate!
2. Thou Shalt Choose Wisely To Whom Thou Shalt Bitch (Seriously)
If you're one of those people who is capable of bitching and forgiving and forgetting, don't vent to a person who is particularly good at holding grudges.
In fifth grade, did you tell your mom that your BFF Lauren stole your boyfriend? Do you wonder why your mom hates Lauren to this day? Maybe you picked the wrong person to talk to!
3. Thou Shalt Choose Wisely To Whom Thou Shalt Bitch (Point Made, I Hope?)
The last thing you have to consider when picking the right person or people to vent to is what they will do with the information.
Chances are, if they have shared private information about another friend with you, not much will stand in the way of them doing the same with your stuff.
Make sure you're comfortable with that. If you're not, talking to yourself is always an option!
4. Thou Shalt Create The Time And Space To Bitch Properly
It is important to get it all out in one go (more on that in point number eight), so pick a place and time that allows you to fully express yourself without holding back.
On the phone in the metro? Probably not the best idea. Not only can you not really say what's on your mind (unless you really don't care), but it's also rude to subject innocent bystanders to your anger and negativity in public spaces.
5. Thou Shalt Give Thy Audience Fair Warning
Nobody likes an inconsiderate bitcher. Ask permission; pick a time that is good for you AND for the person to whom you are complaining.
Nobody wants to go to the basketball game expecting a hot dog, beer and a good time only to later be surprised by Debbie Downer and her boss who just won't listen.
6. Thou Shalt Remove Thyself From The Situation In Any Way Possible
Ask yourself if you were forced to look at this differently, how would it look?
Considering the different angles of a situation enables us to step away from our personal biases and can often provide opportunities to find common ground.
7. Once It's Out Of Thy System, Thou Shalt Not Harp On It
From an energetic perspective, it's best to bitch once, bitch well and get it over with in one go. So, make sure you have enough time and are in the right environment to do so.
Why? Negative feelings tend to stay with us longer than positive ones (Proof here!).
If you keep re-hashing how you've been wronged because you didn't get it out properly in one go, you will extend the misery associated with the situation you felt compelled to vent about in the first place.
So, bitch freely and bitch magnificently. But, only bitch once.
8. Thou Shalt Be Open To Honest Feedback
A truly epic bitching session not only offers you relief, but also possibility.
Feeling the need to vent usually indicates you are personally invested in a particular outcome or had expectations that weren't fulfilled. In other words, you're too close to the issue to be truly objective.
Unfiltered feedback from a friend may just be what you need to regain a little perspective. Embrace it.
9. Thou Shalt Not Take It Personally
Remember, what you say is what is in your heart and what others hear is reflective of what is in their hearts.
This applies to whatever prompted you to bitch in the first place and the feedback you'll receive from your friends or family.
10. Thou Shalt Try To Find The Lessons In Thy Struggles
Every single experience we live is a blessing. Chances are, if you're complaining about it, there's something that needs to be worked out and, therefore, learned from.
Learn to appreciate your struggles as purveyors of wisdom and maybe, just maybe, you'll no longer feel the need to bitch!
So, there you have it, friend, the 10 Commandments that will instantly elevate your bitching game from thoughtless, inconsiderate and childish complaints to mature and valid sources of personal freedom.
Now, go find something to bitch about so you can test them out, will you?