VENT OR CONTAIN?

Conventional wisdom has long advised that anger vented is good. It allows stress a release, much like the pressure discharged from a steam valve. Conventional wisdom isn’t always wise or always true.

This piece of conventional wisdom is now being rethought. It seems that venting anger, especially rashly, can cause the venter a number of ill effects.

One, anger too often expressed leads to its being expressed more often. Blowing off steam comes sooner and easier with less pressure.

Two, venting can take a physical toll on its releaser. It agitates rather than pacifies.

And three, loud and long anger can generate distress post-vent: guilt, shame, embarrassment, and regret.

A piece of wisdom: Moderating one’s emotional expression is a healthier alternative to letting it flow.

Fighting Mad — Practical Solutions for Conquering Anger Pages 147-148
Copyright © 2013, Dr. Ray Guarendi
Servant Books