Let’s be real. Everyone vents at least once in a while. It’s human nature to over-analyze and verbalize our problems to anyone willing to listen. Once our complaints reach a new peak, though, it becomes a vent session. While it may not seem like much, there is actually a method to prevent your madness. Combine your complaints with a little technical finesse, and you can transform even the least productive venting session into a work of art.
To begin, consider the following three essential steps:
1. Gather your information.
After all, venting can’t be productive without a fully stocked arsenal. Start with the most recent details and drama, of course, but feel free to relate the new information back to past facts. A pattern often proves the problem. This is one instance in which quality and quantity are equal. However, be sure to guarantee accuracy, even if it decreases your evidence. If unchecked rumors breed the majority of your complaints, it’s less venting than gossiping.
While it might seem tempting to incorporate the other person’s reputation and personality into your venting, try to focus on relevant instances and material. Remember, you can’t change people, and you will only drive yourself mad finding fault with every single detail about someone or something else. Minimize the subject so that you don’t draw out the venting.
2. Choose your confidante.
Consider what is most helpful or necessary for you right now. Do you want someone unbiased, someone who doesn’t know the other person at all or someone who has an equal relationship with you both? If you need to vent right away, be aware that you might choose convenience over confidence and reveal the drama to anyone. Similarly, if you just want to complain and not necessarily find any resolution, you could very easily and successfully vent to someone who has also taken issue with the same person or situation in the past. On the other hand, if you want to vent to find a solution, be more selective than just an acquaintance. Choose your most trusted adviser or companion, even if he or she isn’t a certified counselor. Sometimes a little friendly advice can go a long way.
Of course, no matter which category your confidante falls in, make sure that your vent session remains private if desired. Above all else, choose your confidante according to his or her level of trustworthiness. You might also want to reevaluate whose side your partner is really on. If you go to a friend of the problem’s source, you should expect your words and emotions to get passed around.
3. Decide your expected results.
Honestly take a minute and ask yourself how much this really matters. Not to kill your venting vibe, but does a less serious issue even need much contemplation? Are you just venting to complain? If it’s a small and unavoidable thing like encountering a bad driver, then your venting session is probably going to be short and soon forgotten. However, do you vent for advice and hope for a positive solution? What about venting with the expectation of later confronting the person or situation? Even though it might not seem important in the heat of the moment, a little consideration about desired results could save you some time and sidestep the confusion.
Whatever you decide, just remember that eventually you will have to move on. You can’t focus on one bad thing or series after another forever. Also, think about whether or not the issue is worth seething over and sharing. Once you vent you can’t take it back, even if you manage to successfully blame it on a sour mood. You might even want to sleep on it then return to the complaint at a later and less emotional day. If you do choose to vent, just try to do it maturely so that you won’t have later regrets. Keep venting an art form, not a lifestyle.