Friday, 4 June 2010

Are you a ‘rant-buddy’?

I know that there is no such word, I totally made it up.


After reading Psych Babblers post today..something prompted me to write this post. She has written about our intense desire to be people pleasers at a cost which sometimes harms our self esteem and how we cannot please all people.


We are social creatures and as such we need friends to be a part of this exciting journey we call life. When I was growing up, I had tons of friends, so many that my parents were alarmed at the number of people who turned up to celebrate my birthday. Slowly, as time passed some friends disappeared from my life and new ones came in.


Every woman needs girlfriends in her life, there are some things your better half will never be able to understand even if he is your soul mate. We can discuss almost everything under the sun with our girlfriends right from, why we get angry with our maids, guests who drop in unannounced and leave a mess in the house, the latest fashion trends and the rising cost of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Lately, I have observed that I have become a rant-buddy for most of my friends. They will call me just to rant about things which annoy them. I have no problems listening to their problems when someone is going through a difficult period in their life. Believe me, I have been in that position myself a few times so I do empathize. But the issue is when some friends who are doing well and still call up just to to barf out (every time, without fail) how miserable their life is , all you do is end up saying ‘Hmmm’, ‘Oh No’,’things will get better’ , ‘Yes,  I understand,’ in every conversation, it starts grating on your nerves. I tend to zone out and daydream of ‘ sarson ke khet with SRK and Kajol prancing around cows’. Frankly, I don’t want to do it but its is my body’s natural reaction to boring conversations.


For me a conversation has to be exchange of knowledge, ideas and information. There are so many things to talk about, you have music, books, movies and weather. I miss exciting conversations and the thrill of learning something new when I speak to someone. These days all the conversation are  peppered with ‘Aur Kya? (what else) a number of times because we are at a loss to talk about things.


Maybe it is in my nature to make everyone like me, hence I tolerate these stilted conversations. I can never cut off people or feign that I am busy. Even when I call to have a casual chat, some people have the knack to change the entire direction of the conversation to make it all about themselves and how miserable life is and how busy they are that they don’t have time even to breathe. Such conversations frustrate me and I end up feeling like a fool to have called up in the first place.


How about you? Do you ever feel like a rant-buddy? What do you do when you are a rant-buddy and you want things to change?


I would like some help from you people.


P.S: Ohh shucks!!....here I go and make a simple post into a rant post. Maybe I am learning the knack.

28 comments:

Nish said...

This seems so similar to the post "I am suffering from whine flu..Are u 2:)" i wrote long ago..

GIven that sometimes we need people round us to hear us out but it can soon grow up into as annoying a habit as u willl ever have...Vaise sorry for soundng to be cliched but i think it's more of a girl thing...Guys alos rant but girls take the lead i guess...Just my view..

Nu said...

I can relate to this ...I've been playing a rant-buddy to almost 3-4 females friends of mine and I'm okay with it since I know they need to take it out from their system..I don't know if I'm giving them best solutions or even solutions...but at least I'm being a sounding board for them...

Secondly,I agree with you that there should be some intelligent conversation and some learning going around..if not then some intelligent and logical arguments about somethings...

I think there must be a set of people that you have in your life which will fulfill this need of yours...(the way you are fulfilling the rant-buddy need of your other friends) so find them and the moment you feel drained out talk to these set of people and cheer up :)

I agree..there are better things in life to do and talk about..books,movies,blogs and so much more :)

bollywoodstylediaries said...

imp things first: when u daydream, why do u daydream "SRK and kajol" , it should be "SRK and you" :-)

yup, I know the feeling..I usually hang up after few mins saying "there is another call coming" or "i have to rush". If you have some friends who are always ranting and u are no longer enjoying their company, you should try o ease them out of ur life..get caller ID!!

RoseBelle said...

This is an interesting point you brought up here and I'm sure all of us experience this. I think we are creatures of habits. A person who gossips can't resist the temptation. Similarly, a person who complains about life miseries, can't stop doing so. One effective method I am using is to stop agreeing with the other person because it just fuels the fire so I would say things to let the person know she/he's wrong. Believe me, nobody wants to rant to someone who will them they're wrong. I got rid a lot of people calling me about their horrible life this way.

Choco said...

I can so identify with this post.

1) Gal pals are so indispensable. My gal pals have almost all moved out of my city. And I have only guy friends left here. Now when one cribs, one really may just be looking for a sympathetic ear AND the all important "you are right..the world is wrong" and end of matter..Not for solutions and mollycoddling-which seems to be every guys forte! :|
2) You think you sit through boring outpourings cause you want people to like you...I think it is because you are sweet by nature. :)
3) Can't you really never hope for intelligent conversations with your rant friends? If they are just using you to offload their frustrations and there is nothing else left in the relationship...then you need to act busy..somewhere...Learn to say No. Find a balance... :)
4) and finally I have actually dumped this old old friend of mine who used to use me as a shrink. She had cribbed and cribbed about friend A, B and C. And I had said "Look...They may not mean bad. Might be cause you had done blah blah earlier so they now think blah blah"..A tells me a year later, that they had hated me for a year, cause, guess what? she had told them, that, I had said that, they had judged her!

I stopped giving advice after that...Now I just lend a sympathetic ear! :)

Psych Babbler said...

Oh LP! You and I would probably get along great...I too love conversations about different topics rather than just plain rants/gossip. Unfortunately for me, I think too much, and some months ago, a friend told another friend and myself we should stop thinking as much since we were having conversations about religion (my soapbox issue), feminism, determinism vs fatalism...but I truly enjoy stimulating conversations like that! And like you, I miss it since I don't have many friends that appreciate the same level of conversations...

I had a rant buddy back in India....she would only call me when things were down or things were going really well for her (to brag)...she actually called me her "shit pot" and introduced me that way to some of her new friends. Unfortunately, I wasn't assertive enough back then to tell her off. I wouldn't have minded being a rant buddy but she never returned the favour. Since coming to Aus, I've slowly cut ties with her and have made the decision that should we ever meet up again, I will honestly let her know how I did not appreciate being referred to as shitpot!

Sovina said...

I do feel that at times it is necessary to rant and get it all out..My mom is my best rant buddy :)

http://weddingonthecards.blogspot.com/

le embrouille said...

I am with you on the conversation being an exchange of ideas. There is no way in the world I would listen to all the rants with patience unless I am caught at the bottom of the Dead Sea in a cellar full of roaches with a gun to my head.I will pass !! :)

Phoenixritu said...

LP, better get out of the mode - tuning off to daydream about SRK and Kajol in sarson ka khet is not enough. It is too much emotional investment - I used to be a rant buddy but found it too stressful after a while

Sowmya said...

LP - Know exactly what you are talking about - been there, done that, if you know what I mean.

Good Post. I believe it is also because of an innate desire among girls to share their thoughts and get it off their system, while the men keep most stuff to themselves!

Chatterbox said...

I could totally relate to you on all fronts.
I have been listener of the group at all times. Be it in school,uni and now even at work. But like you said, I have gradually given up my habit of being the 'bin' of everyone's gossip. I have gradually learned the art of saying 'NO' to people something that I learned at a very late stage but I am glad I eventually did.

As far talking over variety of topics I am so with you. You cannot grow/ learn if don't learn to think outside the box. To keep pace with the world one has to open up.

I have been the rant-buddy for a very long time, but now I have moved on :)

Excellent post LP :D

magiceye said...

:)

Shilpa Garg said...

I was nodding my head all the while I was reading this. Relate to it completely!!
Most of the time, I find people just like to talk about themselves and all they need is two ears!!

Journomuse said...

I think I have always been the dispenser of consolation for the young and the old alike. I have friends in almost all age groups but I find myself being the one always having to keep tissues at hand. Frankly my patience for what you call 'barfing' is very limited. I think I do tick off friends too when their tirades start irritating me. But on the whole, I think I'd be counted as one like you. A constant shoulder for crying on - for guys and girls alike - always ready with tissues. And it is when I move to dump the tissues in the wastebin that I see the advice I dispensed lying crumpled in it. :)

Mr. Stupid said...

This is a nice post. I was a rant-buddy. But then after a couple of calls, I got demoted... hehe
BTW, my Mom is one. You can find her on the phone saying, "I know...", "Are you serious?" and "Did he/she really say that?".
Have a good day!:)

Lazy Pineapple said...

Nish: Yes girls do talk a lot with their friends...but I believe that talks should move beyond rants and complaints..no on said life is easy...

NU: Unfortunately, I have hardly any friends who can be my rant-buddy..most of them are so used to unloading stuff that even if I had something to rant about..I never get a chance :(

Sonali: Hmm maybe I have to use that tactic of pretending to be busy and just get out of the conversation...

I cannot stand Shahrukh..but I had liked DDLJ a lot so the reason for my day dream :)

Rose: Aha that is a an idea...stop agreeing with people..yes I think I will use that tactic...I did try this recently and suddenly I became a super bitch for that person...she stopped chatting with me :P

Lazy Pineapple said...

Choco: Hmm I stopped giving advice long ago..I reserve that for only those people who specifically ask me for it.

I have been giving a sympathetic ear all the time and when it is my turn..very few of them actually bother to listen to what I have to say.

PB: I love stimulating conversations and I hate talking just about home and hearth..
Now, I have hardly any friends who can relate to what I want to say..

'Shit pot'? OMG...that is just too much...she was taking you for granted and am glad you have dumped her..You should just tell her that you do not appreciate her calling you that.

Sovina: I agree you need someone to hear out your rants..but then you should be prepared to hear theirs too, right?

LEB: I feel friendship is a 2-way street..you want to unload, fine by me..but be ready to listen to me as well...
Boring conversations leave me feeling dull and uninspired...

Ritu: True..it is exhausting and all you are left with is wasted time..precious time you would have used elsewhere.

Lazy Pineapple said...

Sowmya: Thanks :)

CB: I am glad and I plan to do it too...that might mean losing some friends...

Interesting conversations make you want to converse with that person..you like it when you get to learn something new.

Magiceye: thanks :)

Shilpa: So many people agreeing with me :)
I feel most times people just want to show how burdened their life is...I don't deny that I too rant but not in every phone call...or conversation..how people manage to do it is beyond me..

Deepthi: Does that not make you frustrated? I feel really tired after constantly giving shoulder to people..ughhh

Mr. Stupid: Oh no..I feel for your mom...it is painful being a rant buddy..the people who rant let it out of their system but it becomes irritating for people who have to just be on the receiving end :(

zephyr said...

Came here from another blog. I agree with your observations entirely and sympathise with you. I once had a friend who used me like that too. Every conversation with her would leave me depressed. I would even feel guilty for having something that she did not! slowly though i cut her off and did not even feel angry when she called me once and berated me for being 'selfish'! You have to be firm, that's all. :)

Hey, do visit me at http://cybernag.wordpress.com

karan a said...

we have lot of similarities. I hate boring conversations. I hate discussing people. There should be exchange of knowledge or information. It should make some sense. At the same time, I have good patience so when friends need my ears, I have all for them.

But generally I get switch off when people are discussing boring stuff and I have to be part of it. The same apply in blogs also. Over a period of time, if someone isnt making sense for long, I give a miss!

Sharmila Ganguly said...

As I have grown older, I have become the rant buddy of a larger crowd and guess what, I quite like it and feel privilaged that people can trust one with issues and depend on you for a laugh :)

Gyanban said...

Keeping life is simple becomes a challenge as we grow older. So either listening or giving advice to someone only adds to the complexities of life.
If you can handle it- great - if not - then stay away from getting sucked into it.

sharmila said...

i don't have that many friends anymore ... but yes some years ago i had a friend - who use to call me (we're in the same class) almost everyday n discussed everything that happened in class n later in the day .... her list used to be the same everytime. Everytime she call i was like "oh no !! ... tell her i m not at home"

it is better (most of the time) to have friends younger to u (by younger i don't means kids - like they are younger by 5 to 6 years)... they are awesome to be with ...n fun too !!

Ashes_of_roses said...

Hello Lazy Pineapple,
I just happened to hit on your blog and I read this post, would you believe if i told you that you spoke my mind.

There are so few of them whom we can relate to at all levels- emotional, thought frequency, etc. To crib through a bad phase is so understandable but to always crib then it becomes a part of you.

Dagny Taggart said...

i felt as if you're relating my story...can so relate with it...i know exactly what you are talking about.

...and it is so weird the use of "aur kya" (what else) most often than not we just seem to run out of conversation...contrary to the ones where you have spoken for over an hour and then airtel reminds you by disconnecting the call that you have spoken for an hour without even realizing it!!! :)

Pooja said...

oh my God! exactly my thoughts.

I have this friend who is just how you've described.. on one hand I see her pictures on facebook attending 1000s of hip parties and having the time of her life, and the moment I pick up her call she starts her unending tale of woe..

it is just so annoying, to the extent that I have started avoiding her. and its not like she can't do anything to change her damned situation (as if). she just likes to cry about it..

sorry for this RANT.. your post just made me spurt out everything that I have wanted to say for so long..

The knife said...

My blog is my rant buddy. And my wife

Rajendra Raikwar said...

i will surely visit again

Post a Comment