Venting Vs Complaining
Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Are you aware that they are not the same thing?
I've seen and heard time and time again that people have mistaken their complaining as venting.
I've done both, and from my experience, they are not the same thing.
I've come to realize that whenever I complain about the things that make me upset, almost all the time, I don't get anywhere with it. I go round and round in circles. The more I complain, the more angry, upset, and frustrated I become.
Ever since I've learned to honor my emotions, I recognize that whenever I'm upset, I need to express them. I do this either by venting my upsets to someone whose willing to give me the space to listen or if I couldn't find anyone, I just write them down.
How to spot whether you are complaining or venting?
Complaining is expressing your dissatisfaction or annoyance without actively seeking to resolve your emotions.
Complaining is a never-ending cycle.
One can complain for hours, days, weeks, months, and even years.
People who complain thrive when they get to complain about anything or anyone. They'll find opportunities for them to complain. The more they complain, the more they validate their stories about their complaints.
Venting is expressing your emotions with the intention to release the emotional charges and to relieve yourself of the mental and emotional suffering caused by the emotions.
Most of the time, after I vent my upsets, I feel a huge relief.
I also get clarity about why I was triggered.
I learn more about myself and what I can do to move forward instead of being stuck with feelings of upsets, anger, and frustrations.
How to vent properly and successfully?
You need the following keys to vent properly and successfully.
The right intention.
The right person.
Ask for permission.
The right elements.
Before you start expressing your upsets, first, be aware of your intentions.
Are you expressing your upsets to seek validations from other people? Are you trying to get them to agree with you and your stories?
If so, then you wouldn't be venting. What most likely will happen is you are going to be in complaining mode, and you are going to complain about your upsets.
If however, you want to express your upsets to release the emotional charges so that you can feel at peace and no longer bothered by the upsets, then you have the right intention.
Second, the right person.
The right person is the person that you can trust.
You need to make sure that this person can provide a safe space for you to vent without judgment.
This person has to be willing to listen and be there for you.
This person can be detached and not get caught up in your upsets.
What usually happens when we share our upsets with family members or friends, they would feel upset too, as if they are the one who experienced the incident that got us upset.
As a result, we most likely wouldn't able to vent out everything because they would chime in and share their stories and it didn't help when they start to advise on how to deal with our upsets, especially when we aren't looking for advice.
In the end, we don't feel heard. We end up feeling frustrated and we think to ourselves that these people just don't understand.
This is why venting to the right person is important because you want to be heard and you want to express your upsets without holding back or being interrupted.
Third, once you find the right person, always always ask for permission before you start venting.
It can be as simple as, do you have time? I need to vent.
Asking for permission is important because when you vent to this person, you are taking their time. Therefore, you should respect their time.
Or you can ask, I need to vent. Can you be in the right headspace to hear me out?
By asking that question, you're letting them know that you need them to be in a certain headspace to hear your vent.
Asking for permission is also giving this person the choice to say either yes or no.
If this person said yes, then proceed.
If otherwise, then either you look for other people or you can ask again later.
There are a lot of reasons why a person would say no.
It could be they are busy with their priorities.
If they have other priorities then obviously they can't give their full attention to you.
When you vent, you want to be heard.
For you to feel heard, this person needs to pay attention to you 100%.
It could be they are not in the right mindset or headspace.
What I mean by the right mindset or headspace is they "should" be detached, non-judgmental, willing to listen, and be there for you.
If they can't be detached, then they will get carried away by their emotions, and it's going to be difficult for them to be neutral as they listen to your venting.
If they can't be judgmental, then obviously, they will have their own conversation in their head instead of being there for you.
If they aren't willing to listen then they won't be listening and they might interrupt you while you're venting.
Make sure you pick the person that has an awareness of whether they can or cannot be the right headspace.
If they know that they can't, they should say so and let you know.
It could be they are dealing with their issues.
People do experience issues from time to time.
Whenever an issue comes up for me, I find that I need time off.
I prefer to work on the issue until it's resolved.
Then I have the right headspace to listen and be there for other people.
Otherwise, I wouldn't be there 100% to be of service.
Do not take it to heart when these people said no. There is a solution that I will share at the end if these people are unavailable for whatever reason.
Fourth, the right elements.
What are the right elements?
Be super honest with yourself.
Focus on sharing your thoughts and emotions.
Allow yourself to truly feel.
Refrain from focusing and talking about other people.
Learn the lesson(s) with an open heart.
1. Be super honest with yourself.
Why being super honest is necessary?
Because we can be extremely good at lying to ourselves. Sometimes, we don't even want to see how chaotic the world is, or we don't want to feel our emotions because we feel deeply hurt by our loved ones or other people's reckless actions.
When you are super honest with yourself, you honor yourself with your truth. Acknowledging your truth will help you to feel relief.
2. Focus on sharing your thoughts and emotions.
Start your sentences with "I".
"I see", I feel", "I think", etc.
By doing this you bring the focus inward.
This is important because you want to talk about you. How you feel, what you think, etc.
This is the opportunity for you to share your real thoughts and emotions without fear, judgments, and interruptions.
3. Allow yourself to truly feel.
Whatever feelings that come up, just allow yourself to feel them.
Be it sadness, grief, anger, frustrations, etc.
Allowing yourself to feel these emotions does not mean you have to act them out.
There is no need for that.
It is enough for you to allow yourself to feel the emotions and let their energy flow through you.
This will help to relieve some of the emotional charges.
4. Refrain from focusing and talking about other people.
When you vent, use the time to focus on yourself.
You don't get anywhere by talking about other people.
What you can do to help yourself is to focus on the things that you can do/think/be to relieve your upsets, your mental and emotional pain.
Which is in this case, talk about your thoughts and emotions, feel your emotions, be super honest with yourself.
Focusing and talking about other people does nothing to your growth and transformation.
5. Learn the lesson(s) with an open heart.
As you share honestly and truthfully, there are times when you get insights or you discover deeper reasons why you were upset, angry, or frustrated.
These are what I call teaching moments.
You can choose to learn the lessons that you get from your upset, anger, or frustration.
Or you can choose to pass them by.
It's completely up to you.
I personally would recommend for you to learn the lessons and commit them to memory.
So that the next time something similar happens in the future, you wouldn't get triggered or at least if you do, and you remember the lessons then you are no longer triggered.
When you vent, remember these five elements.
They can help you to vent properly and successfully.
I mentioned earlier that I have a solution if you don't have the right person available when you want to vent.
I have created a space called The Vent Space.
This is the space for you to vent.
Remember the second and third keys on how to vent successfully?
The right person and ask for permission.
These two keys are already included and taken care of in The Vent Space.
What you need to bring into The Vent Space is having the right intention and the five elements for you to vent.
In The Vent Space, you can vent safely and without fear.
You will be heard by someone who is there for you and can empathize with you.
And by venting, you release the internal tension and reduce the emotional intensity.
Hopefully, by the time you are done, you'll feel relief, your mind is calm, and can think clearly and rationally.
The Vent Space is for those who want to vent without having the fear of being judged.
It is for those who want to reduce their emotional intensity.
It is also for those who don't have someone that they trust to confide in and those who tend to bottle up their emotions because they don't feel safe to express them.
Let me clarify what The Vent Space is not.
It is not a space for you to complain. You can of course use it to complain but it's not designed for that.
It is not a space for you to seek advice, counsel, guidance for your upsets, or issues.
It is also not a space for energy healing.
If you need coaching or energy healing, I have specific services just for that.
The Vent Space is the space for you to vent and for you to feel heard.
The good news is I have opened up a few slots for this purpose.
If you feel the need to vent and you're looking for a set of listening ears, then book a slot at The Vent Space.
For more information about The Vent Space, click the picture below.
Peace & Love,