Have you ever read a book and felt so connected to the writing that you sit there thinking ‘this book was written for me!’. I was sat, experiencing this very feeling when I had a lightbulb moment, an epiphany, a clear moment when multiple thoughts came together as one.
Brooding – ‘To be engaged in or showing deep thought about something that makes one sad, angry, or worried.’ A coping mechanism that I’m sure we’ve all used on at least a few occasions in our teenage and adult life, but a new phrase now crossed my path – co-brooding. Defined and explained in Susan David’s ‘emotional agility’, co-brooding is ‘when you go out with a friend and have a big, fat moan…’ She goes on to explain that while we think these venting sessions make us feel better, they actually concentrate the negative feelings instead of creating a solution. What’s more, more often than not they negatively impact those you choose to vent (or co-brood) to/with. Cue lightbulb moment.
Where most would read this and think, ‘gosh, I hate it when people do that’ I sat, raised my hand like the little waving emoji and thought, ‘gosh, that’s me, I’m a co-brooder’. Hell, I’m a full blown energy and emotion sapper!
Dramatics aside, I’m all for venting, I’m vocal and open with the majority of my life. When I’m down, those around me know about it. But I feel embarrassed to think that I have negatively impacted those around me for my own sake, on more than several occasions. In fact, some of who I would consider my closest confidants are subjected to my emotional offloading on a regular basis.
Now, tie this in with the ideas that Mr Lewis (aka the most positive man I know) explains in his ‘Have the right people in your life’ and you’ll soon start to notice those around you that positively and negatively affect you and your emotions.
All this got me thinking… I want to be a supporter to those I care about, from gentle nudge in the right direction to full blown cheerleader on the sidelines of their life. And I can’t support them if I’m moaning and I think this is something we could all focus on a little more.
So, how about we try it together? Let’s actively try to be the friend, colleague and family that we would want in return. Let’s turn co-brooding into collaborating, working together to battle what life throws at us. Are you with me?