Before I get started, let me just say I love my friends. I have a very small circle, and each and every one of them are phenomenal women who truly enhance my life experience… but I decided that I’ve gotta stop talking to them when I’m feeling upset and need to vent.
No, its not them. Its me.
Lets start by getting a standing definition of venting, because its come to my attention that some people don’t use this term. Venting is when you have heavy negative emotions (like anger, irritation, hopelessness, disgust, etc.), and you just want to talk to someone about ALL OF IT. You want to start at the very beginning of it and go over every detail of whats been upsetting you. Usually, if your friend is wanting to be a “good” friend, they’ll just sit there on the couch or on the other end of the phone and listen to you (sometimes for hours) without interrupting. The point of venting is to “get it all off your chest” so that you can feel better. Therein lies the problem:
I almost NEVER feel better after venting.
Now there has been the rare occasion- THE VERY RARE OCCASION- when I have vented to a friend who is in a particularly centered state and can guide my focus from feeling bad to feeling better. That’s the IDEAL outcome from a venting sesh, but, unfortunately, that’s also rarely the outcome. This sort of theraputic responsibility that we place upon our friends when we want to vent to them is a LOT to ask of someone. First, they would need to be what I call aligned with their inner self before they could be any use to you for helping with emotional navigation. Usually this isnt the case, so what happens is you dump all of your issues and gripe onto your friend who is dealing with her own issues. This leads to the perpetuation of complaining, pointing out more problems, and never really coming to solutions that feel good.
No, I’m not calling out every person in the world who vents, because we all do it at one point or another. I’ve just decided that I wont be doing it anymore.
I’ve decided that I’m not going to vent anymore because I want to find more constructive and powerful ways of dealing with negative emotions.
Its not easy to not vent to friends, though, and its also hard to stay centered and aware when a friend is venting to me. The emotion of it all! What I do know is I’m committing myself to handling emotions better and encouraging those around me to do the same!