Venting

Question:

How can I heal my pain from a values violation by discussing it with a neutral third person who will listen and provide support?

Definition:

In contrast to blaming, venting is expressing your frustrations, anger and other values violation reactions away from the situation where your values were violated. You may be by yourself or with a venting partner or partners. You express your frustration in a different context . . . one that is safe for you and doesn't harm anyone directly, nor their reputation. The purpose is to bring about your healing related to what happened in the situation and how you reacted to it. Venting is a natural method of healing for those whose tendency under stress is blaming.

What to do:

A good way to start is to tell the story of what happened and express your frustrations and opinions about the situation.

Conditions for appropriate use with others:

The venting partner that you debrief with needs to be someone not immediately affected by the person or the situation. Furthermore, your venting partner needs to agree to listen and be supportive to help you deal positively with the situation. (Without permission your venting may be perceived as whining.)

Benefits:

Venting allows you to debrief a situation that has violated your values in some way, big or small. With an appropriate "venting partner" you can heal your hurt and stress without damaging the relationships involving the situation. Once you have sufficiently healed, you can begin planning and designing ways to deal with the situation productively, whereby you, the others involved and the organization all benefit from what you do. The alternative is to react immediately, before healing, and the likely result is to do harm.

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