General Question

Nimis's avatar

What is the line between talking to people about your problems and talking shit?

Asked by Nimis (13199points) September 10th, 2008

Whenever I have problems with my friends, it would be helpful to be able to talk to other people about it. But most of them time, I keep mum. I don’t want to cross that line where I’m talking shit about someone. But where exactly is that line? If you were my friend who I am having problems with, what would you feel is acceptable/okay? What would not be acceptable/okay?

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16 Answers

trudacia's avatar

This is very similar to your previous question….perhaps you should have added this description there?

sarapnsc's avatar

Well is the person you are talking to, a friend of the person you are talking crap about? If so, I wouldn’t pull them into it. Find a dog, a stranger, someone else.

If they are not a friend of the person you are talking about, talk away to them.

Maybe, you should ask this question to the friends you want to talk to. See what their opinion is. Ask them if they are bothered by it, ask them where do they think you should draw the line at. They are the ones you need to ask this question to, because they are the ones who will be affected. Good Luck!

Nimis's avatar

Tru: I can see the similarities. They are very situationally-related. (I actually thought of this when Augustian asked me for context and felt hesitant about saying.) Though (in my mind, at least) they’re different. The other question is about what friendship is based upon (or my relationship with that person). This question is about what is acceptable when trying to deal with problems within that friendship (or how I interact with other people).

Nimis's avatar

Sara: What if they don’t know the person yet, but probably will in the future? I’m not sure how I’d feel about meeting people that know all this stuff about me (and I don’t know them at all).

Ideally, I’d ask the person I’m having problems with…sigh

sarapnsc's avatar

@Nimis, well if they were my true, real friend, I wouldn’t expect them to lie to me, about another person.
They would be doing me a favor, by forewarning me about that person.

Nimis's avatar

Sara: Is lack of disclosure a lie?

scamp's avatar

Some people call it the “sin of omission.”

Nimis's avatar

Scamp: What about the sin of shit talking? Which is worse?

scamp's avatar

I think talking shit is worse.

Nimis's avatar

Agreed. That’s why I am in the predicament that I am in.

Probably need to toe the line as best I can.
But before I do, I got to figure out where that line is.

scamp's avatar

That’s true. I can understand your dilema. I think it’s also a question of who you talk to as well. Even with the best intentions, and by carefully choosing your words, you can get into a world of trouble if the listener repeats what you say.

I guess the rule of thumb is to think of how what you say could be misconstrued, and how you would feel if it is said about you. Either that, or cut the middle man out copmpletely and got directly to the person in question with your concerns.

Palindrome's avatar

the line is…

you know you’re really talking about your problems to someone because you are seeking help, and you want their advice….
you will know when your talking shit about someone because it will get you heated and the person who is probably listening to you, wouldnt quite want to hear all of that.

Nimis's avatar

Naz: Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s ever that clear for me?

elenamillaa's avatar

well, before you talk about anything, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.
1) how close to me is this person i want to talk about?
2) would talking about them actually solve anything?
3) could the person i talk to actually help me?
4) is what they did/are doing really that bad?
5) do i want to talk about the problem, or just talk about how angry this person is making me?

if the answers lead you to believe that you’re just venting, its probably best to just calm down and try to talk things through with this friend. and if you think said person would actually be able to solve your problem, its okay to talk. just make sure to talk when you’re calm and not use harsh language or directly criticize this person. if you need to use swear words and say things you wouldn’t say to this person’s face, you are indeed talking shit.

hope this helped!

Nimis's avatar

@elenamillaa Good answer.

I tend to hold things in a lot. My SO pushes me to talk to people to get things off my chest. It helps with the tension, but doesn’t really do much for the actual situation.

I understand (in theory) that it’s healthy to talk about things. But since it isn’t really productive, it feels like shit talking. But the lack of productivity has more to do with the original point of contention and not necessarily the way I go about talking about things. There’s just not much to be done about it. Sigh.

PS Does venting fall into the category of talking shit?

elenamillaa's avatar

You’re definitely right about that.
In general, I guess the whole “talking shit” debate is all a matter of opinion. but, in most cases, people agree on certain points, such as the fact that calling someone a bitch is definitely wrong.

venting may or may not count as talking shit. once again, it all depends on your language and thoughts expressed. this one is truly a matter of opinion to the utmost degree. if you’re venting about a project at work or a person saying some mean things, i wouldn’t consider it so. but if you’re saying things that involve singling out one person or using crude language, then it is definitely talking shit. when it comes to venting, it sort of needs to be a case-by-case basis kind of thing, and you should think it through, although i suppose that rather defeats the purpose of initial venting.

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