Saturday, January 05, 2008

Venting

Over the last 6-12 months I've increasingly been thinking about whether venting or talking stuff through in that kind of way is actually helpful. Most of my life I have believed that it's how I work and process and others have reinforced this belief. But for a range of reasons I've started questioning whether it's actually helpful.

The seed of this thought realisation (worded like that because I know myself well enough to know that most significant things are simmering in me for a long time before they come to even this point) started almost out of the blue one day several months ago. I think it had been a stressful situation and for some reason I just thought "I'm not going to vent or talk to anyone about this at least until I am no longer worked up about it". This is the opposite to my automatic response. It was certainly a good path.

Since then several other things have happened - and I certainly have made decisions to vent to a more specific range of people - mostly people who won't just let me vent actually, partly chosen because of that.

During the past week I rang a friend to "vent" (I think actually used that word!) and he was happy to hear that but was in no mood or space to just allow a vent so we did good work on what was behind it.

Then this morning I read The Chief Happiness Blog which sometimes has quite interesting things on it, a link to a page about how bad venting is for you - I reckon it's so true.

Mmm .... very long term patterns I'm changing here so it will take time and I'm well and truly already on the path and it's already significantly changing relationships but will continue to. I do think that it's something God is really significantly doing in my life and a real invitation to live life more in the ways he desires ... an increase of life in abundance.

(Now most but not all of the people I vent to in some way read this blog - do feel very free to respond to this information how you feel best and how you are able - from doing nothing with this information to asking me the question of "do you really think talking about it in this way and at this time is the helpful thing" to a stronger boundary around hearing a vent)

3 comments:

Unordered said...

I've been doing the same - not venting, slowly, slowly bit by bit for a few years. Now I'm getting pretty good at hearing God say, "don't" and actually obeying, because I'm learning that he knows better than I do.
Sometimes I think, "but I have to discuss this," but when I don't discuss it, it all dissipates quickly.
I think about monks or nuns who have taken a vow of silence, or one who only speaks when necessary, or one who speaks only to encourage. I think it's part of living simply.

Barb said...

yeah that's really helpful - monks/nuns, speaking only when necessary or only speaking to encourage. I'm loving what I'm experiencing as I learn to live on this knew path

Miss Trish said...

Quick thoughts as I catch up on readings...

If not venting leads to stress, then the health ramifications etc., are equally as bad. Soooo, it's not about not venting, but about the means by which one CHOOSES to vent. Choice, not habit, being the key there. I think venting can be useful; I've certainly experienced the feeling of relief from venting, more so when to close friends or companions. But, at the same time, sometimes I feel that the line between venting and that of slander or gossip is too fine, and that is not who I want to be... Something to ponder more for me there.

Now, just to be cheeky, let me post the dictionary.com meanings, which I was prompted to look up [exclamation marks are my own]:

vent

noun
1. an opening, as in a wall, serving as an outlet for air, smoke, fumes, or the like.
2. an opening at the earth's surface from which volcanic material, as lava, steam, or gas, is emitted.
3. Zoology: the anal or excretory opening of animals, esp. of those below mammals, as birds and reptiles. [!!!]
4. the small opening at the breech of a gun by which fire is communicated to the charge. [!!!]
5. a means of exit or escape; an outlet, as from confinement.
6. expression; utterance; release: to give vent to one's emotions.
7. Obsolete: the act or fact of venting; emission or discharge.

verb (used with object)
8. to give free play or expression to (an emotion, passion, etc.): to vent rage.
9. to give public utterance to: to vent one's opinions.
10. to relieve by giving expression to something: He vented his disappointment by criticizing his successor.
11. to release or discharge (liquid, smoke, etc.).
12. to furnish or provide with a vent or vents.

verb (used without object)
13. to be relieved of pressure or discharged by means of a vent.
14. (of an otter or other animal) to rise to the surface of the water to breathe.
[Origin: 1350–1400; (v.) ME venten to furnish (a vessel) with a vent, by aphesis < OF esventer (es- ex- + -venter, v. deriv. of vent < L ventus wind1), in later use deriv. of the E n.; (n.) partly < F vent (< L ventus), partly by aphesis < F √©vent (OF esvent, deriv. of esventer), partly deriv. of the E v.]

related forms:
ventless, adjective [!!!]