When we vent to someone we trust, we usually seek them out for a specific reason. We all want something different when we rant and vent, but you may have questions about how to tell this to others so they don’t accidentally say the wrong thing to you (and you don’t want to get upset at them either!) When is advice helpful? When is advice not so helpful? What’s the best way for someone to show they are actively listening to you? What are your biggest distractors in conversation and how do you help control those?
Activity: Vent to your parents about something that is important to you, no matter how big or small. However, before doing so, ask if you can let them know how you want to be heard. Do you want them to give advice? Or do you just want to get things out? Let them know if they should stay quiet until you’re done, or if you’re okay with them jumping in if they have advice or a response. Afterwards, talk about how you both felt during this vent session. Leave your feedback here about how it went and how you felt, even if it includes things that you were uncomfortable sharing with your parents.
Check out these articles to get some more background on how venting can help and how to set up boundaries when talking to others about issues that are bothering you: