Venting versus Complaining: What's the Difference?

Venting versus Complaining: What’s the Difference?


Hello, and happy Sunday! 

I’ve been hitting the Rose Bowl quite a bit this week for my workouts.

I love listening to the birds singing and the breeze rustling through the trees, so I leave my iPod at home and my phone turned off.

The Rose Bowl is a popular place, however, so I overhear bits of others’ conversations as they walk/jog/bike and talk with their friends.  Amongst the snippets I’ve heard this week, there was a lot of negative that I noticed.  Because I just heard these folks in passing, I don’t know how their conversations were steered, but I found it interesting that in the four total hours I spent at the Rose Bowl,

I did not hear a single snippet of celebration, congratulations, or laughter… AT ALL.

I thought it was a little Twilight-Zone-y.  Now if you look at the ratios, it’s quite possible that I just missed those happy pieces of everyone’s conversations, and perhaps solely for the purpose of inspiring this entry.  So let’s chat about communication energy, specifically venting versus complaining.

Everyone needs to vent.

You have to get the “ick” out of your mind, and this is often done by saying it out loud.  It physically releases the mental frustration.  Either you simply feel better by “getting it out of your system,” or maybe you seek a few suggestions from a friend.  Either way, the venting is temporary, the purpose is to release the negative to find the positive, and the outcome is a mindset upswing.

Complaining is a different beast.

This is just the on-an-on of whining with no attempt at resolution, no request for guidance, no silver lining, no positive outlook, no sense of relief, no upswing.  It also usually inspires (and often requests!) similar complaining from your friend, and it’s all a downhill spiral. 

Venting can sometimes lead to complaining, so be aware of this in your conversations.  Perhaps you can take the lead in a situation where your friend is complaining and offer a mindset upswing by providing encouragement, resolution, or a look at the positive side of things.  A lot of people don’t intend to get sucked down the rabbit hole of complaining, and they just need you to pull them out of it.  Sometimes you need that too.  We’re all human, and life gives us challenges.

Friends listen, provide support, and help each other through.

On the other hand, if someone does not respond to this mindset shift or they simply insist on being negative, you may want to reconsider the boundaries of your relationship.  That type of energy can be draining and can thereby have an impact on your own energy.  This leads us into a related topic which I will touch upon in future entries.  There’s enough to digest with this one.

For now, I challenge you to be the person who creates the mindset upswing in your next conversation… let me know how it goes!



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Until Next Week, Be Well and Be Good!


P.S. To end the week on an awesome note, I went to the Rose Bowl with one of my besties last night. We talked and told stories, and we were literally doubled over with laughter… almost couldn’t finish our walk! THESE are the people to surround yourself with!