I think we can all relate to how good it can feel to vent…and the ways it can go wrong when someone tries to solve our problems or thinks we’re angry at them. This article has some nice guidelines for getting catharsis without accidentally stirring up trouble.
In moderation, this dynamic can be helpful, and treating someone as your confidant can even strengthen the relationship. But when a rant becomes too intense, it reinforces your pent-up anger instead of releasing it, which can negatively affect both you and the person you’re venting to. Research has shown that co-rumination, or obsessively talking about an event or problem with someone else, can lead to higher stress, depression, and anxiety. There’s a fine line between productive sharing and the kind that pushes you both into a negative spiral.