One late summer afternoon about 4 years ago, Jill, a beautiful twenty-six year old neighbor, was sitting at my kitchen bar, sobbing and telling a dear friend of mine about her boyfriend – how thoughtless he was, how often he didn’t do what he said he would, and how she didn’t think he was giving her the respect she thought she should have.
My friend was right there, giving Jill the “There, there, poor thing…” and being very supportive.
After listening in on maybe 5-6 minutes of this, I said to Jill, “Why don’t you trade him in for a new model? You don’t need someone who treats you like that! Why don’t you just say “NEXT!!”?
She stopped immediately, looked at me in mock horror (I thought it was mock, anyway) and said, “Oh no. I don’t want to do that. I was just venting.”
I’ve never forgotten that. It’s important to vent. I have things I’ve been “just venting” about for years. And just a few I actually DO something about. Most things we complain about are venters, they’re not changers.
Moral: When you next hear someone you know carrying on about wanting more income, or losing those extra 30 lbs, and you offer them a way to do that, remember the venters. You know, the things about which someone is “just venting”, and not yet ready do actually DO something about. That way you won’t think it’s you. Or your business or your product.
It’s just that the thing they complained about is a venter. And now that you have just discovered that, you can let go and find someone else, for whom that thing they’re complaining about is NOT a venter, but a changer.