Sunday, February 8, 2009

When is it okay to talk about something negative?

I am often motivated to write negative posts on my blog. Those little rants that you have in your head, you know what I'm talking about?

Like when Best Buy didn't change my last name (post divorce) on my rewards club membership even after I had requested in-store, online, via email, and by phone, had been told it was done, but ended up with TWO memberships (don't ask me, I don't know) and BOTH had my old married name. Talk about livid. I canceled my membership and vow to buy all home electronics through TigerDirect, Amazon, and Fry's from now on. I had this huge rant that I wanted to pose, talking about customer service, the intent of rewards programs, the impact of negative customer interactions in comparison to no interactions or even good interactions. But then I never wrote it.

Or the college course I'm taking where I was told the topic of my 15 page research paper. This is a college for working adults. Am I not capable of picking a topic of interest relevant to the subject matter? I wanted to go off about this in my blog, because it was going to take it's toll on me considering how much of my time was going to be consumed with research on a topic that didn't interest me. But I didn't.

Today I was in a jewelry design and soldering class at a local art studio. It cost $265 and there were 8 people in the class. Not only was I not allowed to design the piece I really wanted to make, but I was ignored by the instructor when I was having problems trying to solder for the first time with an open flame. I am so upset after the first day of class that I have half a mind to not attend the 2nd day of this 2-day class and demand a refund. I could write pages on my thoughts on this experience.

What do you do with negative energy like this? If I talk about it, I contaminate others with it. If I blog about it, I do the same. Where is the line between therapeutic "venting" and just being toxic...or is there a delineation between the two?

Sometimes I'm able to see the humor in a bad situation and turn it around independently. But usually I just bottle it up. That doesn't seem healthy but I'm not the type that is particularly adept at letting things "roll off my back." I would like to develop that ability because I believe those that have it are happier individuals. This is, I believe, the act of letting go. A Taoist endeavor. Change what I can in the here and now, let go of negative emotional reactions and visions of control, and accept what remains as what simply is. Sounds wonderful.

I'm climbing into my boat, and paddling out into the large body of water, paddle, paddle, paddle. Just sit there for a moment, find that quiet peaceful space. Relax. Calm. Center. Focus. There it is, happiness. How do I feel about those issues here, in this place?

The homework doesn't matter, it's a hoop to jump through to attain a larger goal that IS desired, well worth the minor inconvenience imposed upon me by an instructor.

The Best Buy issue is behind me, I tried to enact the desired change, it was not accomplished with the investment I was willing to make, so I closed that door. Now I need to walk away from the door and move on.

My class is not over, I have not learned what I intended from the class, so I will not give up on it. The 2nd class will be one where I must envision being in my boat, so that I can effectively advocate for myself with the instructor so that he is not able to continue ignoring me. I will not accept the role of victim again in this class.

Yes, blogging is a good thing for me, and so is venting as long as the intent is a positive destination.

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