relationship hygiene - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
When I can, I find it's better to vent to a friendly stranger, someone who can listen and walk away feeling the same as they did before the conversation. That way, I can hear it myself without the anxiety of the other person's emotions, I stay responsive rather than reactive. Then when I speak to a loved one its easier to hear their perspective and learn from one another, making our bond all the stronger.
"You have a lot to get off your chest, I know. Sometimes we all need to vent. But we have to think of the most appropriate ways to do that so we aren't contaminating other relationships with negative vibes. Good relationships, loving ones, are worth protecting. If you don't prevent stress from infecting them, you become at risk of losing what you love and need most. We can still talk to others, and we should, to gain advice, new perspectives and wisdom, it's simply a matter of taking the time to calm your inner-tornado first wherever possible. It gets easier to do as you mature emotionally, you learn to let go of your stress and baggage safely rather than giving it to someone else. It's what adults are supposed to do, containing negative ripples and sending out positive ones."
Last night I had a nightmare, a fading residue of a violent past. They are infrequent yet traumatic all the same. I choose to keep it to myself, to let it fade once more into nothing, because talking about it only reinforces the memory. Perhaps that will be the last echo of that trauma, I can't say for sure, but what I'm sure of is all the wonderful people in my life that I love and love me too. So keeping it to myself is a form of relationship hygiene, preventing negative contamination from spreading to where everything is good. They'd listen, I know, but I need those relationships to stay fun and positive, rooted in the now, reaching towards good things to come. I've gotten good at processing these things anyhow, it's the same as with any other skill, it's something you can get good at with practice.
When we are children we need to talk about our emotions, to co-regulate with someone mature and stable, someone who loves us. As we grow and mature we become that person who can listen to others and be their anchor in any storm. It is for we elders to take the hits, make the emotional sacrifices for our youth and those we love. That's a huge part of real love, the giving and willingness to stand tall and strong for others.