Venting is not an effective strategy for anyone trying to cope with daily stress, whether they have perfectionistic tendencies or not. Research clearly shows that venting increases rather than decreases stress - Brad J. Bushman


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Stop Venting! It Doesn’t Work

The idea of venting can be traced as far back as Aristotle, but Freud is the one who really popularized the notion of catharsis. Most of what we assume about the need to “let it out” comes from his assertions about the danger of unexpressed feelings. In the “hydraulic model,” frustration and anger build up inside you and, unless periodically released in small bursts, cause a massive explosion. Starting in the 1960s, this theory was debunked by so many lab experiments that researcher Carol Tavris concluded in 1988, “It is time to put a bullet, once and for all, through the heart of the catharsis hypothesis.”

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 Stop Venting! It Doesn’t Work

That’s unsurprising, since many of us think venting will make things feel a little better, whether it’s complaining to co-workers about a micromanaging boss or airing frustration with your partner and kids. But while blowing off steam often feels like it works to extinguish negative emotions, academic papers and clinical work with patients show it doesn’t. In fact, it often makes things worse.

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