To Vent Or Not To


Most of us may have felt that we are done with people in our life, or with everything going on in it, at some point. Or, we may have felt claustrophobic with a strong urge to escaping from everything and everyone.

The irony is: when such a thing happens, we aren’t sure how to react. We often think whether to vent out one’s feelings, or just holding them deep inside one’s heart, while continuing to suffer in silence? It is a Hamlet-like situation — to vent or not to. Or, a la Arjuna-like looking for Lord Krishna for solace and peace; a way out of the impasse.

One incident that happened set me wondering what others would do, were doing, or had in similar situations. I kept ruminating whether I should share with friends what I was going through, and get their outlook and insight on how to handle the situation, or merely endure and expect things to normalise, just like that, at the drop of a thought.


When one chooses not to vent out, they end up bottling up the growing emotional turmoil one is going through. One does not often realise that this negativity progressively, also unknowingly, tends to disrupt one’s mental peace, cluttering the mind in the process, and making focusing in life — be it managing relationships, or work-related problems — difficult. Not venting isn’t tantamount to being there,  yet distant.

I’d like to recall a metaphor, or parable, I read somewhere and found it relevant. Consider a pot of boiling water. When you place a lid on it, you are holding it against the pressure of boiling water. Eventually, the water will find its own way to rise to the top and spill over. Alternately, imagine a coil spring. The more you try to ‘squeeze’ it and keep it compressed, the more viciously it will bounce back and regain its original length. Human emotions are, likewise, no different. The more you try to suppress them, the more aggressive they will be. The result: one may languish in their emotions in their mind and heart till they can’t tolerate it anymore and, in one brief moment, and all of a sudden, they may just explode. This is dangerous, the reason being they have been suppressing their emotional bearings for too long.

When one chooses to express their frustration, or dissatisfaction, it manifests as a reflex action to the emotional turmoil being endured. It may be interpreted as someone needing to work on anger management. Talk of anger and the said person is, at once, at risk of jeopardising their personal and/or professional relationships with others. However, when one decides to think and not judge and try to place oneself in the other person’s shoes, one may realise that the person is, maybe, just venting out their frustration and, by doing so, healing themselves and finding solace and comfort.

Remember that expressing anger is a temporary fix; a Band-Aid, no less. The downside is it may, in the long run, manifest as rage and anger at the slightest provocation and, sometimes, without provocation. This leads to stress and the spillover is no different from what is experienced by the ‘silent’ sufferer.


I’ve experienced the effects of not venting out and ‘womanfully’ enduring the turmoil and pain, hoping that it would subside by itself. The resultant effect, as a result, was vicious and damaging to say the least. After much deliberation, it seemed that venting out and calling a spade a spade, may be a better option. Yet, it also seemed, that it did not create the right impression in the minds of the people at the receiving end of the ‘stick.’ Suffice to say, people nowadays do not like interacting too much with people who express their frustrations verbally, albeit not physically.

No relationship is without emotional conflict. So, for the subject and the object, the hurting and the hurt are vital to master the art of managing one’s emotions and understanding others’ feelings at the same time. The objective must be dual — not to hurt others and resolve to not be ‘hurt’ at the same time. Easier said than done, doubtless. But then, difficult challenges do not have easy solutions. Once a person gets closer to this state of not hurting and not being hurt, they may experience a great sense of inner peace and tranquillity. They would be at ease when they know that nothing, or no one will affect their mental well-being, or their emotional serenity. This is close to achieving nirvana without one being a monk, or saint. One needs to channelise better and direct what is negative and destructive for a better purpose. Anger is wonderfully constructive when channelised effectively — in the right manner.


  • When one feels that change may emerge by itself, with or without any conscious effort to do so, while enduring, one must define a period of time during which it may emerge
  • If nothing changes by the end of that period of time, decide to vent out
  • Venting out should not imply fighting and arguing and getting into altercations with the ‘hurting’ parties
  • Venting out pertains to channellising your anger and frustration into something constructive like — sports, running, jogging, exercising, painting, writing, cooking, photography, or taking up hobby classes etc., This will fill you with a sense of peace. It also helps you grow as an individual, while unbeknownst to you, helping you to managing your anger and frustration better.

It’s, perhaps, rightly articulated, that empiricism is better than theory. Go figure.