Comments on
To Vent or Not to Vent

Studio shot of a young couple fightingCharlie: For the first few years of our relationship Linda and I were believers, advocates, and practitioners of the theory that the way to deal with anger in relationships is to express it directly and clearly to the person that you’re upset with.

8 thoughts on “To Vent or Not to Vent

  • October 23, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Thank you for the great article! I’ve always thought venting made only the venter feel better. It’s good to hear your professional take on it. When I hear of situations where people are venting, I always imagine what it would be like if astronauts vented anytime something went wrong, instead of calmly focusing on what everyone needed to do to resolve the issue.

    • June 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      The power image of the astronaut’s calm and composure is inspirational. There is equipment worth many millions and lives at stake. There is a great deal at stake for ordinary families as well.

  • October 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Venting is healthy but must be done in a constructively communicative way with both parties listening to each other. Sadly this does not occur with too many couples. Personally I don’t think people place sufficient importance on the matter otherwise there’d not be so many divorces or breakups.

    Venting releases frustrations as opposed to “stuffing” those emotions inside only to have them create even more issues which ultimately cause more damage if not dealt with effectively.

    • June 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      It certainly is an art form worth mastering. Speaking the truth without blame and judgement is a clear sign of emotional intelligence.

  • October 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Vulnerability can also result in the partner who is building up unexpressed resentment to POUNCE. Resolving conflict is a mutual process, a skill like a muscle that needs to be focused on and exercised with some professional supervision. It is a disaster if one party uses open heartedness as an opportunity to attack. Yes, that relationship did end. Nothing gets resolved when vulnerability is one-sided.

    • June 4, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      It’s not really possible to remain vulnerable, nor should we, if the other person takes advantage of our openness.

  • October 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    THere are two components to intense emotions, such as anger- the emotional side and also the physical side.
    By processing the biochemicals through phyiscal action, the emotional state can be brought back into line because it is not being driven by the chemistry as much anymore.
    A walk, for instance, to have a time out and to work out the chemicals, for instance.

    Your article deals with the emotional side, but not the physical component. Focusing solely on the emotional can (in my experience) lead to passive-agrressive communication rather than honest communication. And sometimes, someone is at fault and is to blame. That should be acknowledged and dealt with as much as the resulting guilt and other emotions.

    • June 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Doing something physical (walking, running, swimming, riding bike, chopping wood) can move anger through the body and can be enormously helpful.


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