Who is the first person that comes to your mind whenever you need to vent your feelings out to someone? For many people, it might be a best friend, a sibling, or a parent, and this is usually so because we often share a close and intimate bond with these people. We know for a fact that they will always be there to provide a shoulder of support, even if our go-to method to vent might be to vent anonymously and talk to strangers online.
What is venting?
In scientific terms, it is usually described as a way to provide an opening for a gas or a liquid to relieve built-up pressure.Merriam-Webster defines it (in terms of talking) as an action that helps us find emotional release, which in a way draws a straight parallel between science and our emotions.
Over the course of history, people have always found new and inventive ways of letting their emotions out, from organizing meetups and protests in the colonial times, to creating forums online in the new generation of the internet era; venting has always been ever-present.
How does venting out to someone help?
1. Stress relief
We sometimes don’t even realize the amount of stress we hold in our bodies, and how talking about our feelings through venting to someone can provide us with instant relief from it.
Expressing our thoughts to someone or talking to strangers online as they come to us is like unloading your baggage into a void.
It might not solve your problem, but it sure helps you feel lighter, which in turn gives you a clearer mind with which you can approach the situation.
2. Helps you to compartmentalize
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the wrong emotions just want to burst out of you at the wrong time?
You’re sitting for an important meeting, but all you can think about is that tiny argument you had with your mother the night before. Not only is it distracting you from your work, but it is also making you out to be more vulnerable in a space where you wouldn’t want to be perceived as such.
Venting out about the little hiccups in your life to the right people at the right time can help you compartmentalize your emotions. It’s like you’re conditioning your brain to act a certain way in particular periods of the day, saving you from unnecessary emotional distress and panic attacks.
3. Empathy and active listening
Venting is a two-way street; it involves both the speaker and the listener. Not only does it help the speaker to unload, but it also helps the listener to become more active and empathetic. It equips them with a better sense of what to say and what not to say when someone is pouring their emotions out.
Empathy validates a person’s feelings. Sympathy, on the other hand, does not acknowledge the feelings involved. Empathy is active, sympathy is passive.
Hence, it helps you to become an active listener instead of a passive one.
But this doesn’t imply that you should dump your feelings and thoughts on whoever you want, in whichever manner you want. Venting can turn out to be negative and stressful if the listener themselves are not in the right headspace to receive information that is taxing in nature.
It is very important to have a network of people close to you who you can confide in. But at the same time, it is vital that we routinely pour our heart out to people we don’t know as well.
The mediums through which people vent to someone have evolved over time, and with the introduction of the internet, the number of people who want to find a safe space to vent online is ever-growing. This brings us to the last reason as to how venting to someone helps us, especially online, and why people prefer it over physical mediums.
4. Venting anonymously and talking to strangers online helps
According to Psychologist Meghna Prabhu,
“When you chat with a stranger online, it’s easier as you aren’t too worried about them judging you and changing their opinion about you or even telling other people you know about what you have shared."
Furthermore, Oscar Wilde once said,
"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. Being behind a screen is a mask that people wear making it easier for them to share how they truly feel."
In its true essence, the number of people who are becoming a part of online communities is doing so because it’s providing them with a safe space to dump their thoughts and express themselves freely without the fear of being looked down upon by someone they know or are close to.
It’s been helping them actively because, in many instances, the people they know in real life might not be able to relate to their problems and provide solutions, something that a complete stranger belonging to an online community can.
All they want is to be a part of a place where they are able to share their thoughts, knowing they will be listened to and not judged.
Where can you find an online community to talk to strangers?
For that, you don’t have to look any further than where you already are.
Here at Now&Me, you can just dump your sorrows, failures, negativity, disappointments, and regrets. We have a community of people who are always ready to listen to you and provide solutions to the little bumps in your life.
You can find others like yourself, along with the courage to speak and to act your mind without any filters.
In short, we have a community that just gets it; a community for people like you and me.
How Can Now&Me help?
Now&Me provides a safe and supportive platform to connect with experienced mental health and self care professionals who can offer you guidance and support.
Our peer community is welcoming, non-judgmental, and inclusive, creating a warm and supportive environment to share your thoughts and feelings.
You can start off by helping someone out, or you can post something of your own as well (it can even be anonymously!) So what are you waiting for? Just #VentItOut on Now&Me!
Venting is completely okay if done in a way where you're considerate of the emotions of the person in front of you, by checking if they have the emotional capacity to be a part of the conversation and give advice. If not, then you can always vent online to a stranger on forums and places where the community is all ears.
Yes! Venting online without the fear of being judged is something that can be absolutely cathartic and help you release all that pent up frustration and emotions when you have no one to talk to around you. For this, you can use a website to vent online.
The Now&Me forum provides a safe and open space for vulnerable conversations. We have a community of empathetic people on our platform who are here to listen to every problem, anecdote, or conversation that you have. These peer-to-peer conversations encourage ease in showing vulnerability while talking about difficult topics.