A friendly venting session between best friends can quickly devolve into gossiping if you don’t know where to draw the line. Here’s how to tell the difference between venting and gossiping.
Some days are just hard, and you may want to vent about someone who upset you to your best friend or a family member. This allows you to express your emotions rather than holding them back in. It makes you feel a bit light when the other person acknowledges your feelings without any judgments. They support you and might offer solutions to the concerned issues.
Gossiping, on the other hand, is when you talk about people who may or may not be related to you. It entails talking about their personal situations that have nothing to do with you. No problems are being solved in a gossip session. Also, it may turn people against each other as the rumors circulate.
When you are frustrated or angry and can’t hold it in any longer, you vent. You experience a surge of emotions. You describe the events as they occur without making any judgments or comments. It does not include any personal information or backstory about the person you are upset with. Venting is done with a third party who doesn’t know the person you are talking about.
Gossiping happens out of boredom or the need to appear interesting in the circle. This involves entertaining yourself with anecdotes about other people’s miseries and personal affairs. The person doesn’t concern you in any way and never has done anything bad to you. You pass judgment and make comments that can be mentally and emotionally damaging.
Venting is done in isolation with no intent to embarrass or harm anyone. It never leaves the room, but only if the person you vent to has no foul intentions. Once your frustration is out, you feel better and eventually move on from the issue.
More often than not, gossip has malicious intent. They turn into rumors that can harm the person and be used to bully or ruin their reputation. It puts them in a difficult position and might cause embarrassment. It may bring up past trauma or an experience that they have worked hard to forget and move on from.
Self vs. other
Venting focuses on you. It’s about your feelings and issues that only concern you. It helps you come to terms with your emotions and understand them better. You complain about how the other person made you feel and realize how you can deal with it going forward. Also, venting is healthy, not selfish.
Gossip is about other people, and after a while, you may feel guilty about your words and actions. You may not realize it at the time. Some people also use gossip as a diversion from talking about themselves. They try to immerse themselves in other people’s problems and worlds in order to escape their own.
They say sharing your feelings always helps, and venting is all about that. It not only helps you find a solution and receive validation, but also strengthens your bond with the person you vent to. They become your confidant, who are there for you in the most vulnerable of times. They prevent you from making rash decisions out of anger and instead encourage you to talk it out first.
Gossip has no positive outcome. You might feel happy and satisfied at the time, but the feeling is momentary. There is always the possibility that the rumor will find its way back to you, causing serious repercussions. Hurting a person for the sake of useless entertainment is never justified. Going forward, the person you consider your gossip BFF might gossip about you too. We mean, who knows, right?
On a different note, a lot of us often think that what we do and feel for others is not reciprocated in the same way. The best thing to do here is set the boundaries. Read this blog to know how to set boundaries. You can also check out our other blogs.
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