We call it “venting“, science calls it “a waste of time”.
In a huge blow to keyboard warriors everywhere, it turns out venting frustrations on or offline may not be making us feel better.
According to Science of Us, psychologist at the University of Arkansas Jeffrey M. Lohr said that blowing off steam about all the injustices life has thrown at you “just doesn’t work the way people think it does.”
We would love to list all the reasons this lack of freedom of angry outbursts makes us FURIOUS, but instead we will follow the fancy psychologist’s recommendation and continue begrudgingly.
The finding comes from a paper entitled “The Psychology of anger venting and empirically supported alternatives that do no harm“, which, if you’re reading between the lines, indicates that so-called “anger venting” may do a little bit of damage.
Specifically, the study found that “venting increases the likelihood of anger expression and its negative consequences.”
Science of Us reported that this particular paper reviewed “decades of studies” on this issue, such as one delightful experiment in 1969. This study asked half a class of University students to rate a Professor’s performance midway through the class as well as at the end, and the other half to only report on their performance at the end.
In order to make sure the students had something to complain about, the professor was told to demonstrate how to make origami very, very poorly.
It found that the students who were able to complain in the middle and end of the class complained much more loudly and vehemently than those who only complained at the end.
Science of Us went so far as to say that expressing anger in this way could be detrimental to your health, saying that “one study published earlier this year linked angry tweets to higher incidence of heart disease.”
So this pretty much means that Twitter is off limits in general.
If you can’t imagine a life without venting, there may be another option. Lohr suggested that finding a solution to the issue you’re venting about may help.
“The meaningful part is to say, Okay, now I got that off my chest — what am I going to do about it?”
Tip: writing another angry vent is not an appropriate solution.
This study is mostly bad news for these
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