A scientific surprise

Do they mean to say that wallowing in your problems in order to get attention isn’t likely to lead to a positive outlook on life? Who would have ever thought it?

A researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia has found that girls who talk very extensively about their problems with friends are likely to become more anxious and depressed…. “For years, we have encouraged kids to find friends who they can talk to about their problems, and with whom they can give and receive social support,” Rose said. “In general, talking about problems and getting social support is linked with being healthy. What’s intriguing about these findings is that co-rumination likely represents too much of a good thing. Some kids, especially girls, are taking talking about problems to an extreme. When that happens, the balance tips, and talking about problems with friends can become emotionally unhealthy.”

Dr. Helen wonders if this extends to adult women as well. I’m not a trained psychological science researcher or anything, but I think it’s pretty safe to conclude that the answer will be yes, wallowing in petty negativity like a hippo in the Nile during the rainy season is likely to cause a few problems upstairs.

Some women enjoy voluntarily digging holes for themselves because they derive drama and a sense of importance from having trouble. They’re like attitudinal sharks, if they stop whining and complaining, they’d sink and drown. I utterly loathe them, just as I despised my would-be angst-filled male and female counterparts constantly moaning about how awful their parents were when I was a teenager.

Women, if you ever want to know why the men in your social circle often act as if they don’t even hear you when you talk, chances are good that you complain too much. Men actively dislike whiners of either sex, that’s why “whiner” is one of the worst insults a man can have directed his way. Complaining doesn’t make us feel bad for you, it makes us want to punch you in the mouth so you’ll shut the hell up. Since that behavior is frowned upon, we simply nod, smile, make a few sympathetic noises and then back away as quickly as possible.

In case you haven’t noticed, that’s also the way men treat insane people. It’s not a compliment.