The Catharsis of Venting

Sometimes we all feel the need to “vent” and air our frustrations to someone who will listen. Oftentimes, the goal of venting is not necessarily to find solutions, but to know someone hears and understands your frustrations.

Holding stress, anger, sadness, or anxiety inside can be emotionally draining and make anyone feel overwhelmed. Getting a chance to verbalize those feelings to someone who cares can make all the difference for someone’s ability to cope. The person who vents often gets a sense of relief or catharsis (the relief someone gets from sharing emotion) after getting some time to express themselves, especially if the source of frustration is a result of feeling unheard.

Everyone has their own reasons to vent: some may just want to have someone to ramble at, while others may actively seek advice and feedback. Make sure to let the person you’re talking to know how you want them to listen. For example, if you’re venting at your parent and they try to jump in and come up with solutions when you don’t want them to, it can actually make you more stressed and frustrated, and can end up affecting both of you negatively.

When venting is done in a healthy way, there are even benefits to the listener, too! For example, it gives the listener a chance to connect and offer support to the one venting, which promotes closeness and bonding. The listener can also provide insight and a unique perspective after they have had the opportunity to hear about a problem.

Expressing our emotions is healthy and everyone needs to feel like someone is listening.

If you are interested in learning more about how venting can help, click here to read more.

When do you feel like you just need to vent? How do you like the listener to respond when you’re venting? How do you feel when someone is venting to you?

Moderator ★

Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: We look forward to talking to you!

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