I get frustrated by circumstances. I get angry with people. I get disappointed when things don't turn out like I want them to, or think they should. Many times, when life throws me curve balls or knocks me with a one-two-punch, I have to vent to someone. It's not necessarily considered gossip (although it's close enough), so I go ahead with it. To be honest, when I come to you to vent, 5% of the time I want your advice, and the other 95% of the time, I want you to simply listen and feel bad for me -- I want your sympathy. I want the person I'm venting to validate my feelings. I want to be told that I am right, and the person that upset me is wrong. I want someone to hear my side of the story and side with my side of the story.
So, where does this leave us? If the person we're venting to shocks us and gives their unsolicited opinion, we either don't like it, get upset they gave their input at all, or we [might] take what they say with a grain of salt. On the flip-side, if the person we're venting to sides with us, tells us everything we want to hear, understands our thought process, and sympathizes deeply with us -- we should feel better, right? Maybe we do! ... until the next person hurts us and the cycle continues. So, what do we do when our friends' sympathies aren't enough? How can we break this cycle?
I hate to say this, but there's not exactly a formula and I don't know how to exactly answer those specific questions. BUT here are 2 facts I do know... 1. Expect disappointment! This is a cynical point of view, but people will let you down, always. It's sad, but a sad fact, nonetheless. Whether they personally let you down, or if they unknowingly give you bad advice for a situation you were counting on them to help you fix. People are sinners and people will let you down, and you will let people down -- just facts. 2. Jesus will never let you down. You live on a planet full of sinners, so in this life, you will never escape the disappointment, or the need to vent. But Jesus will not only never let you down, but He promises to always be there for you, to unconditionally love you, and to give you strength.
In all reality, sympathy from your friends is great, but strength from Jesus is better.