While I’ve been seeking out all manner of information about blogging since creating Proof of My Existence, I came across an article discussing whether or not a blogger needs a niche, which I do not have and I doubt I’ll ever have. The author said, “You definitely need a niche. And remember, nobody wants to hear your whining about your life.”
“Nobody wants to hear your whining about your life.” Wow. There’s so much in there I’m not sure where to start.
First of all, there’s an entire field of medicine based on people “whining” about their lives. It’s called psychiatry, psychology, even counseling. “Whining about your life.” Clearly, the entire world and even industry realizes that taking the opportunity to “whine” about your life is important to your mental health. And anything that’s important to your mental health is important to your physical health. So what I would say to that comment is, “Balderdash.”
But let’s take a look at that word “whine.” Dictionary.com offers these definitions:
- to utter a low, usually nasal, complaining cry or sound, as from uneasiness, discontent, peevishness, etc.: The puppies were whining from hunger.
- to snivel or complain in a peevish, self-pitying way: He is always whining about his problems.
Re 1. What I read is that people are reacting to something being wrong, to having a need. Now if I remember correctly, people are hardwired to react when something feels wrong, when we have a need. Therefore, crying out, in whatever way, is a matter of survival and displays that we are functioning correctly.
Re 2. I have read and am reading so many personal blogs, of all kinds, by all types of people, with a wide variety of reasons for their existence. One thing I have never seen is self-pitying complaining. No, what I’ve seen is people pondering, taking steps to get help, using words to medicate and soothe themselves.
Personally, you know I’m not offended by that author’s statement because to be offended by it would suggest there’s a grain of truth. I feel a little sorry for a person who doesn’t understand that, first of all, people go through some tough things, some tough times, and what tough is depends upon who you are. What’s tough to one person isn’t tough to another. I’m glad that the author thought, “Wow, you know, nobody goes through anything. They shouldn’t need to talk about anything.” I guess life has been pretty good for that person.
But then there’s the fact that what I think this so-called “whining” really is, is examination, self-examination. It’s meditation. It’s investigation. It’s self-exploration. All the things I think more people should get involved in, then maybe they would become more self-aware. Isn’t it a good thing to delve into yourself?
OK, so let’s say I can get that author to believe, “Yes, OK, that’s a good thing.” But suppose the next thought is, “But why do you have to say it out loud? Why can’t you just keep it to yourself?” Because we all need and seek validation. We want to know we’re not the only people on the earth going through a thing. It creates community. And not only that. Somebody out there wants to hear the answers we come up with for ourselves. When we take the steps to investigate and self-discover and make decisions to better ourselves and we do it out loud, when we share those, we share those solutions, we share that comfort. Someone needs us. We have value. Sometimes people offer solutions to us. We need them. They have value.
Do you understand that if people did not share their pain, there would be no art, many songs would never be written, many stories would not be told, many social movements would never have happened?
Now perhaps this person is a wonderful blogger; perhaps an awesome business person, financially successful. But what is lacking there is compassion, empathy, understanding of the human experience, and I might even say love.
So I say keep on “whining” about your life. Keep on helping yourself and others.