Keep Your Dirty Laundry at Home

man and woman texting

Constant shaming and complaining about significant others across social media is irritating.

Each relationship offers challenges and disputes. But that’s what live conversations with your REAL friends and family are for.

Vent with them over a glass of wine (or two) in person and keep your Jerry Springer/Maury Povich accusations and drama offline.

Sorry, NOt Sorry

I sound old fashioned and I don’t care. Changes in relationship dynamics are causing many of us to look like talk show trash.

We’ve all watched daytime or late-night TV shows featuring outraged couples yelling accusations over each other and bringing up personal encounters or paternity tests in front of a captive audience.

We’ve stared wide-eyed at the episodes where people literally tore each other down as the audience egged them on. Now we see it run across our social media feeds daily.

Thankfully, these public bashing posts aren’t from my close family and friends, but I see it more often than care to.

Watching those trashy shows used to make me feel better about myself and my life. I was grateful no one I knew would ever bring me on a TV show to humiliate me.

But now, they don’t have to! It’s easy to get a target placed on you, with friends and acquaintances booing and sneering, without even knowing it.

Venting, Bashing & Teasing

Relationships aren’t perfect. We need to vent sometimes about our significant others, parents, siblings, friends and heaven knows even our kids. Talking through our frustrations help us move forward, clear our heads and gain perspective.

Many of us stopped seeking guidance and support from those who directly know us and truly care for us and replaced it with publicly airing dirty laundry, just like those old talk shows.

Posts done in jest are an exception. Those posts that highlight a spouse’s inability to navigate a grocery store, videos of boyfriends and girlfriends pranking each other or a teenager asking for blinker fluid are intended to be amusing and relatable. And most of the time, the posts are shared with consent.

Sharing funny relationship squabbles online can be entertaining for everyone. There is a difference between teasing a loved one and public humiliation.

Nobody’s perfect – even you

It’s easy to jump into conversations where we hear one side of the story. Tempting to jump on the bandwagon and bash someone we may not even know.

Fanning those flames in comments is effortless. Our screens and keyboards keep us distanced from the impact of these public forums.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times we could all rightfully complain about something our significant other has (or maybe hasn’t) done.

Here’s the thing – they could just as easily do the same thing about you!

There’s a difference between open communication within a relationship and opening your relationship to social media with your 546 friends.

My husband and I rarely say anything about one another that we couldn’t say to the other’s face. We openly joke about each other’s shortcomings, but we never cross the line to shame or embarrass each other.

It’s not to say we don’t disagree and get annoyed with each other. After a decade of marriage, we totally do! It means we keep our intimate discussions between us, maybe with a select group of family or friends, but never on public social media pages.

Teaching Disrespect

We strive to be good examples of a positive and loving relationship for our daughters. Kids look to all adults to show them how to treat others live and online.

When we look at some of the ways adults behave on social media, it’s no wonder our kids find it difficult to be kind or understand healthy relationships.

Relationships require effort and mutual respect. Adults must teach by example how to be open and honest without being mean or trying to embarrass another.

Whether you’re justified in your feelings or not, bashing your ex online or in person affects your kids.

We’ve all been told not to act on emotional responses and to take the time to think before we say something. Words, and posts, can’t be taken back and the impact of what we do and say matters in our relationships.

If we expect our kids to engage in healthy friendships and romantic relationships we better give them a better role model than talk show antics. We need to be better online and in person.

So if any of my family and friends find themselves on an emotional rollercoaster – call, email, text or message me directly before you publicly say something you can’t take back. I promise to listen to you vent and will even supply the wine!

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