Always remember it is not about a right or wrong way – it is about the way that works for you. If constantly re-hashing your tale of woe works for you, have at it, but if it succeeds in making you feel powerless, a victim of circumstances and absolved of all personal responsibility for the life you have created, then you might consider zipping it.
This is the lesson I had to learn. We all have to learn it and we all do it wrong until we do it right.
Constantly telling your story is an addiction. All heroin addicts feel a sense of relief when they shoot up. It is a feeling similar to taking the lid off the pressure cooker followed by a numbness, only to begin again. It relieves the pressure for the moment but the feeling is short-lived. It is like thinking we are moving forward when we really have one foot tied to the ground. We are moving all right, but in a circle – going nowhere. The never-ending story is bad for you and very unattractive to others.
The best things friends and family can do for another is to say in a loving and compassionate way, “I know you are hurting and I am here for you, but I have realized that I am doing you a disservice by listening. The more you tell your story the more hard-wired it becomes and the more you believe it to be who you are. If you want to tell me something new, I am all ears, but if you are going to tell me something you have already told me before, I am not going to listen. And by the way, I would like you to do the same thing for me.”