Why Venting Can Be Helpful
The best way to make sure you never achieve your goals is by telling yourself that there is no way you will ever achieve them.
Think negative, pick faults and come up with every potential obstacle in your way and you will always remain stagnant at the bottom.
At the same time, however, it is impossible not to notice things that are going wrong, problems others are causing or failures you have experienced in your own life. This is where venting comes in, and experts have agreed that venting is a true and powerful form of influence on your road to self-improvement. The problem, however, is that you need to be careful to not move from venting your frustration, which is healthy and beneficial, into becoming a serial complainer, who is wallowing in self-pity.
Venting the Right Way
That line between venting and complaining is very difficult to ascertain. Behavioral experts have warned that it is better to not vent, if you can help it, because it is all too easy to turn that into real negative thinking. This all comes down to expanding what we focus on.
“If we focus on our problems, our problems seem bigger and seem to trigger us into thinking about more problems.” How Venting Influences Self-Improvement – 4 Strategies for Success
This means that when we vent, we could end up enlarging the problems we already have, rather than helping us self-improve. The way to fight that is to actually set a time limit on how long you can vent (60 seconds should be more than enough), and you should always end on a positive note. Look at the funnier side of things; point out the things that did go well or even come up with a solution to make sure the problem doesn’t occur again. This way, you return your thoughts to the positive focus, which you can then expand on again.
Indeed, those who refuse to vent, because they associate it with negativity, can experience a great deal of problems.
“You are better off venting then holding everything in and risk alienating people who love and care about you and risk your health because of it.”
The Benefits Of Venting
It is a known fact that not talking about problems is a terrible thing to do, particularly for a manager. “Biting your tongue” will only get you so far, and it goes to the detriment of your own health and emotional well-being. Furthermore, if you let things go again and again, you will eventually hit the straw that broke the camel’s back, and everything will come out in one fell swoop. This will be like a torrent of negativity that will be completely unproductive. Hence, venting is a fantastic tool for self-improvement, so long as you master the way to do it properly.
Venting Teaches You How to Listen
Another thing that many people do not realize is that venting can teach you how to listen, which is a fantastic way to improve yourself. Listening is one of the most important communication skills of all, and one that you will be able to apply in various situations yourself, whether you work in leadership and management or not. The way that venting allows this is by showing you how others respond, which can teach you either what to do or, more often than not, what not to do.
“In many cases, the listener doesn’t want to have to hear about what’s frustrating the other person.”
The Benefits of Venting
By monitoring how others respond to your venting, you can learn to be empathetic to the needs of others yourself. It has even been said that if we all learned to be better listeners and be more open, there would be far less demand for psychologists and counselors on the market. As such, you are improving yourself by learning through experience.
Venting Makes You a Greater Role Model
This element is particularly important if you do work in management, but it can equally be applied at home. Venting is a form of anger, and it has been found that people who experience anger are actually more optimistic and more motivated. It is not known why people who vent are more optimistic, but this has come out of research again and again. The fact that it is motivating is clear, because being angry at a certain situation, or wanting to vent about it, also means you want to change it. That goes back to the first point of turning it into something positive and actually doing something about it.
The biggest issue, however, is that you become a better role-model by venting.
“The expression of anger, if justifiable and aimed at finding a solution rather than just venting, can actually benefit and strengthen relationships.” The Upside of Anger: 6 Psychological Benefits of Getting Mad
It is known that if we don’t tell people what they do wrong, they will repeat their mistakes over and over again. This is because everybody tends to act in the best faith possible, so if they are not told that something they do could be done better, they will believe that they are doing it right.
Insight: A Final Point
A final thing to understand is that you can improve yourself through venting, because it gives you an insight into yourself. In various pieces of psychological research, it was found that people who were given the opportunity to vent were also able to identify the role they had played in that situation. They were able to see how they had contributed to the escalating negativity. This means that it allowed them to improve themselves and respond to similar situations in different ways.
Good leaders or managers are realistic and honest. They know that they make mistakes, as do their members of staff. Self-improvement is about being able to deal with those mistakes in a positive manner and that can be achieved through venting, even if sometimes it is a negative emotion. Indeed, this has even recently been recognized by Forbes, who is a leading authority on all things management and business improvement. However, you must at all times remember to vent in a way that is positive and has a beneficial end result.