Venting vs Complaining

I’m not huge on complaining. I guess I’m complaining about complaining- how ironic. But I do want to help many of you understand that it’s ok to vent, and it’s also ok to be in the discomfort of growth. What I’m not a fan of us buffering through complaining, and venting is different.

Here’s the definition of venting:

To give free expression to (a strong emotion).

synonyms: let out, give vent to, give free rein to, release, pour out, emit, discharge; reveal, bring into the open, come out with, express, give expression to, air, communicate, utter, voice, give voice to, verbalize, articulate, broadcast, make public, proclaim, assert, ventilate, find an outlet for

In this definition, you’re allowing yourself to FEEL the emotions that are real to you. You’re acknowledging their existence. You’re not avoiding or buffering. However, you’re doing this because they’re big enough and new enough and scary enough that you probably feel at the mercy of them.

The other part of venting is how it comes across to other people. Venting is useful as long as you realize that other people don’t own your emotions. And usually if you’re looking to grow a relationship with someone, you should be analyzing what your interactions are like.

Are you ALWAYS ONLY VENTING and never giving?

Do you allow them to vent to you?

Do you limit your venting?

The reason I believe venting is ‘better’ than complaining is that with complaining I think that there is an underlying belief that whatever you’re complaining about is responsible for your feelings AND it also feels a lot like you’re trying to get others to be on board with this.

Whereas venting is an acknowledgement of YOUR emotion around a subject, complaining is pretty passive and it’s usually never going to come to a resolution until this person stops doing whatever you’re unable to handle.

One is an expression of emotion that moves you forward or at least through.

One is a practice of buffering and reinforcing that others (or situations) are responsible for your emotions.

Which is obviously not true.

Just be careful about how you vent. Don’t get violent. Don’t scare people. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do when you’re totally calm and in control. Venting is not an excuse to be terrifying to others.

But venting- allowing your emotions to move through you around other people (that feel loved by you and you feel loved by) sometimes helps you go from someone who doesn’t know how to manage their emotions to someone who begins to learn.

I am someone who rarely decides to vent or complain. Because I’ve practiced how to manage my thoughts and emotions.

And you can, too!