When Is It The Right Time To Vent?

When Is It The Right Time To Vent?

Grumbling, complaining, venting, griping….all these actions are traditionally seen as negative and passive. But are they really?

Often, a common response to someone venting or complaining is “That’s too bad, unfortunately life’s tough” or “You just have to roll with the punches”. While it’s undoubtedly true, what it also encourages is people feel uncomfortable or reluctant to share (and accept) emotions other than those that are happy and positive. Which is pretty crazy if you stop and think about it!

The deadly combination of societal and high expectations of ourselves have encouraged us to develop this unhealthy mental barrier. Especially on social media where happiness can be easily fabricated, we’re conditioned to care immensely about the image we put out into the world. So much so, we may be unable to share our true feelings with those around us for fear that our friends don’t want to hear about it.

On the flip side, most of us have experienced that one negative friend who cannot seem to find the good in anything. They’re always grumbling about their job, the weather, service at a restaurant, or even the temperature of their coffee (I’m not even joking). And while we want to be good and supportive friends, we can’t help but feel emotionally drained after prolonged exposure to their problems. So where does one draw the line between regular healthy venting and being that annoying complainer?

Ultimately, there are 2 crucial rules we should follow:

A) It’s healthy to vent
B) It’s important to pick who we vent to

We’re human, we need to vent! It’s how we get things off our chest and unload our frustrations at things we cannot control. If we kept everything bottled up, we’d eventually explode! I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I’ve had a frustrating day at work or something I was planning went wrong, and I furiously typed a long essay (with many RAWWRs) on my WhatsApp girlfriends group chat. After I got it off my chest, I felt heaps better.

At the same time, we need to pick people who make us feel safe to share our feelings. They should empathise with our situation but not hesitate to call us out if we’re being overly pessimistic. Sometimes it takes an uninvolved third party to cut through the clutter and shine some light on the situation. Once, I was venting about someone not coming through for me when I was counting on them and how disappointed I felt. My girlfriends let me go on for a little bit, but after a while, my complaints didn’t make sense anymore and they told me (nicely) that shit happens and I just had to let it go. I was a little grumpy, but they were right. It’s passed now and I can’t do anything about it. I just need to pick myself up and keep going.

Sometimes we forget our friends and family can be our biggest support if we let them. But they can only help if they know what’s going on. So if you’re feeling frustrated, emotional or like you need to vent, lean on your loved ones for their support. You’ll feel loads better, like a weight is lifted off your shoulders and you’ll come to terms with the issue quicker than you would trying to deal with it alone.

As Rudimental and Ed Sheeran’s song goes…if you’re hurting, lay it all on me.

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