Everybody feels frustrated and annoyed throughout the day for various reasons. Some choose to bottle their aggravation, some choose to yell and scream. For Jewish Young Adults, the preferred method of releasing their feelings of irritation is the subtle verbal art form known as Airing Grievances.
It is extremely important to note that Airing Grievances is not simply complaining. Complaining, which is what Non Jews do, is defined as expressing dissatisfaction. Airing Grievances, which is favored by JYAs is defined as publicly expressing dissatisfaction from being wronged. This minor, yet major, difference is crucial for understanding the JYA psyche.
As an example below, both “Bob” and “Ari” are dissatisfied with their coworkers, yet “Ari”, the JYA approaches the situation differently:
“Bob” (Non-Jew): Our business partners are very interesting. They have some unique capabilities that may be a value-add for the company in the long run.
“Ari” (JYA): Can you believe they made me work with those fools? They are totally incompetent. I mean, like, dude, how hard is it to Vlookup in Excel?
It is important to note in this example that JYA “Ari” is not complaining in the classic sense, but rather is airing his grievances in that he is indicating to all those around him that he has been wronged, and is forced to work with unqualified team members.
Another example is “Tina” and “Dalia”, both consultants in Boston, who are assigned to the same project with a third partner that they despise. Note the difference between how both women complained to their boyfriends about the situation.
“Tina” (Non-Jew): I just feel like if I was paired with a different counterpart I could better serve the needs of the client.
“Dalia” (JYA): Now I have to fly to Dallas with that skank. I’m not joking, she really is a skank. You should see her Halloween photos on Facebook”
Though the differences are subtle, “Tina” is complaining about the situation, while “Dalia” is clearly airing her grievance.
As we can see, for the JYA venting frustration requires two integral components: first, that as many people as possible are aware of their irritation, and secondly, that those around realize that the JYA was wronged.