Bad Breakup? Whatever You Do, Don’t Vent!

Posted: October 16, 2011 by jerkmag in CRISP -- health
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

When you can’t forgive, forget; when you can’t forget, accept…

…But whatever you do, try not to vent.

When an ex-boyfriend broke up with me two years ago, the time I didn’t spend crying and listening to Adele, was spent recounting all of his repulsive and annoying tendencies to my friends.

When I wasn’t making fun of his terrible fashion sense or that unfortunate “surfing accident” scar (cough cough, it was really just a birthmark, cough cough), I was waging my own personal war against his new girlfriend. Venting about my failed relationship had become an addiction that I just couldn’t kick.

I thought that venting about my problems would make me feel better at the time, but looking back on it, my venting just brought about more bad feelings. According to a study at Kent University, those who vent about stressful events in their lives can actually do more harm to themselves than good in getting those feelings out.  “Venting is not an effective strategy for anyone trying to cope,” said Ohio State University professor Brad Bushman in an article by TODAY Health.

When someone vents about something, they’re just rehashing those bad feelings, ultimately keeping them in the forefront of their mind.  According to Bushman, venting only reinforces the aggressiveness that urges people to vent in the first place. According to TODAY’s article, the only way to truly cope with setbacks in life is to find the positive aspects in each situation, and approach those aspects with humor and acceptance. Basically, instead of cursing the day I met my ex and wishing that I could pull an “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” to erase him completely, I should really be thanking him.

So, thank you, jackass whose name shall not be revealed. Not only did your infidelity, toddler-like humor, and completely disgusting gastrointestinal problems help me to cope with our failed relationship, but it also taught me the exact qualities I don’t want in my future love interests.

-Amber Brenza

  1. dumbdumbdumb says:

    And yet you are still venting

  2. RuRu says:

    dumbdumbdumb- How do you figure? Merely describing with detailed adjectives and thanking said loser in the final conclusion is not venting but victory.

  3. dumbdumbdumb says:

    Victory? Little did I know that relationships were a war campaign with winners and losers. If you mean to say the fact that the author was ble to acknowledge that this “said loser” was not the one she wanted after two years of them no longer being together, then I am glad for her as well but describing all of his idiosyncrasies that she did not enjoy in detail is not victory it’s high school. She’s celebrating her realization, while damaging his reputation. If in order to make herself feel better, she must bring others down then I guess every single relationships she engages in will be a war campaign, and for that I am sorry.

  4. HealthyVenting? says:

    I love the statistics on venting and totally agree that they can just perpetuate bad feelings.

    Still, the comments that you make about your unnamed jackass ex-boyfriend seem to show that you aren’t actually over him. In fact, they seem like you’re still venting in an unhealthy way.

    Maybe the issue isn’t to forego venting, but rather to find a healthy mode of communication? Maybe there are other ways to vent? Like talking to friends about what you want and need in future boyfriends instead ripping apart a persons’ qualities that you suddenly hate because you’re heartbroken and feel the need to put others down.

    Breakups are never easy and I was in a VERY similar situation. When my ex cheated on me I too spent months picking apart his personality, looks and new girlfriends but two years after the fact we are friends again because I was able to evaluate and vent in a way that helped me. Hint: it wasn’t publishing a public post years later putting him down…

  5. […] angry and hostile and no one really wants to be around  you right now, aside from your friends–who sort of […]

  6. Irony says:

    Noun. A literary style employing apparent contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect. See also: wit, humor, repartee, sarcasm.

  7. RuRu says:

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of relationships are battles, not necessarily war campaigns, but there are definitely situations where you have to fight. Sometimes you both are winners and others you’re both alone. When I say victory, I mean this person has realized that they don’t need to dwell, and perhaps one last vent session later, has discovered that they truly are better off.

  8. dumbdumbdumb says:

    -Irony, I fail to see the ironical nature of your posting. It is not humorous nor witty, it is simply mean-spirited and childish. It is funny to comment on an individuals gastrointenstinal problems, farting as we layman call it, but to also call him a jackass and declare, in the same post mind you, that you wish you could wipe your mind of him is cruel. Everyone is hurt in a breakup, no one walks away clean and to simply rip open the cuts of what has occurred in the name of wittiness is a terrible use of wit.
    -Ru Ru, it must be terrible for you to think of relationships as battles where one takes all and the other leaves with nothing. This must be very lonely for you. Regardless, your statement has some warrant to it, the individual who does not dwell and realizes they are better off, is indeed the victor. But wouldn’t this make the author the loser, given your statement? She has been dwelling, for two years, and these two years were probably filled with vent sessions. If the author were truly victorious and had moved on, then this blog post would have never existed.

  9. Author says:

    While I appreciate each and every one of your opinions, this post was neither meant to cause harsh feelings, nor was it intended to spark an unfriendly debate. In writing, as well as any other creative outlet, the artist often pulls from past experiences in order to convey a point they are trying to make. It may not be a point widely accepted by the public, but it is the writer’s prerogative to freely speak of whatever he or she should choose. Writers, after all, are nothing if not controversial.

  10. RuRu says:

    Dumb…love is a battlefield. Not every relationship lasts, but there are those which are worth fighting for. Lonely, no. Just wiser the next round. I guess technically that would make the author the loser in this, but getting over someone isn’t always so easy. I’ve appreciated our responses to each other. It seems we have different views though.

  11. […] do something stupid and make decisions on impulse and then go vent to your friends saying how much you regret it. We’re seniors now, and we should know how to […]

  12. […] before. Maybe a relative died or an ex broke your heart (word of advice: don’t blog about it. Yikes!), but something happened that put your ticker through some emotional […]