E&HS: Venting Evolution
Empress & her Spectacle: Venting Evolution
What are Vent Spaces:
I’ve talked about courageous conversations and brave spaces, but there is something I have yet to explore while navigating life. Venting. In its purest form, venting can be powerful raw word vomit of our feelings. I know “word vomit” isn’t the most beautiful of images, but it describes venting in the best way possible for a writer like me. Venting has taken on some evolution better than Pokémon, now people vent in social media, blogging and more. It's not just to friends, or over tea with your mom. Venting has grown into a complex expression over various mediums.
Do we ever talk about how to navigate vent spaces? Recently I encountered a situation while navigating a vent space of a dear friend. This friend uses Instagram, like many others as a space to vent their feelings and process situations. I read a post as something relating to me, and it hurt. It hurt a lot. I came to understand two things after processing these emotions and reexamining the way I felt later.
Navigating Vent Spaces:
The first being, a vent space is a place that needs to be respected as an intimate moment. Rather than taking things personally, it can grant a friend or relative a chance to inquire on the state of things for their loved one. Not everything is targeted or said in a way that’s meant to hurt you, the person receiving or witnessing the vent space. Instead, take it as a moment to make a difference. I made the mistake of taking what was said in a vent space personally. Missing out on the chance to be of some good to a friend in need. It took a while for me to process that venting in our own spaces is needed to heal or process, and to ignore them or react negatively takes away from the purity of that process.
This leads me to how to respond to vent spaces, the second thing I learned. Whether we open ourselves up to become a vent space with “how are you” or simply see a post on social media how we respond is crucial to how we respect vent spaces. There are a variety of ways to show support to someone in need in a vent space. What we want to avoid is ignoring them, but if you find yourself needing to manage your own situations before helping another, that’s perfectly acceptable. Its hard to be a help to someone if you don’t have the energy or mental security to do so.
Simple ways of responding to vent spaces are leaving messages of support. Whether it’s a caring sticker, gif or a couple of emojis, stating that you are present in this moment makes a difference for anyone feeling alone. If you wish to be proactive, skip commenting and message the person. Instead of trying to tell them what to do for their situation, listen. Let them talk about their problem, and let them come to the conclusion they need or process without an overwhelming amount of your influence. You’re there to listen and support not dominate the problem. This can be a challenge, especially if you like to be an adviser and hold a lot of wisdom. Take this chance to practice only giving advice when its asked for.
Venting is odd in the sense it’s both a private moment and an open one. How we choose to respond and engage can be a difference positively or negatively. Consider how you vent and what you wish would happen when you did. I’ll be exploring this topic in the future more, but in general, this reflection on navigating Vent Spaces is the best starter back I can give you. Take it going forward, and make a proactive difference in your social circles, with family, and more but don’t lose yourself along the way. Handling vent spaces are best when you are mentally safe and secure to do so. The last thing you want to do is agitate or isolate someone you care about in need.