“It is not a demonstration of kindness or friendship to the people we care about to join them in indulging in wrongheaded, negative feelings.” – Epictetus
Drama. Gossip. The woes of daily life! It is easy to get sucked into the whirlwind of negative thinking that consumes our daily lives and makes up a large part of our socialization with others. On the one hand this is an important part of the human condition. Having others we can confide our worries, stresses and problems to helps lessen the burden and allows us to achieve some perspective. It is when we do not have the goal of achieving perspective that we enter into the practice of whining. Whining serves no purpose and will not benefit us. It does not seek any perspective on the situation and can not help you deal with the situation in a better manner. Gossip is a form of whining.
We owe it to ourselves to recognize when we are doing this in our own lives and should be asking ourselves when we are engaging in speaking negatively, ‘Will this conversation help me deal with this situation better?’ If not, we’re probably just whining and should stop.
We can not control others. But when faced with a loved one’s whining we can show them kindness and a lend a sympathetic ear without perpetuating or condoning the whining. This will take practice but life will offer us many opportunities to practice this art daily.
virtus fortis vocat