Sometimes you really need to talk to someone about your problems. Your friend, your spouse, your sister, your mother . . . sometimes, ANYone will do because you simply need to vent. But what do you do if none of your usual confidants are available? Or if the problem is with the one you usually talk to? Or if the problem is too complex to explain to someone that isn’t involved (a problem at work, for example)?
I have good news for you: you don’t need them. You can talk to your dog. Or cat. Or bird. Or a squirrel outside your window. Or even to an empty room!
You may be wondering, “Has Dave lost it??” I can say with confidence, “Nope. I haven’t lost it. In fact, I have found it!”
As it turns out, we get a lot of our frustrations out by simply expressing them out loud. It really doesn’t matter who is listening or, for that matter, if anyone is listening at all. The process of verbalizing them helps you think them through. After all, the process of putting words to feelings forces you to process those feelings in a new way, and the words put the fine touches on how you feel.
Do you need to tell someone off to express your anger or resentment? Before you do it in person, say how you feel out loud in an empty room. Be sure to include all the yelling and shouting if that is part of your message. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel, and it’s just possible that you will no longer have the need.
As it turns out, by the way, dogs are good listeners. They pick up on your emotions and if you are crying, for example, they will try to comfort you with a lick or a lean or by cuddling up to you on the couch. If you have a dog, I’m sure you know what I mean. If you don’t, then you’ll just have to trust me!
Cats aren’t as good at listening because they don’t really seem to care much about anything except, perhaps, a ball of yarn or a bird on the other side of the glass. If you are feeling sick, however, you can expect your cat to be by your side or on your bed keeping you company. They know; they just know.
Birds? Well . . . try an empty room.
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Edited by Shannon Koehle