Out of the FOG

Getting Started => Board Information & Questions => Topic started by: FURID on March 27, 2014, 10:20:10 PM

Title: "VENTING"
Post by: FURID on March 27, 2014, 10:20:10 PM

This message is for Out of the FOG Administrators & Moderators....

I have a request.  Is it possible to add a "VENTING" Category to the site?

Part of the reason I joined Out of the FOG is to be able to vent my frustration in a healthy, cathartic way...  As such, there are many times I want to just write about something that happened, so it's off my chest and I can let go of it.  (kind of like calling your best friend ...  not looking for advice ....  just state it and let go of it ...) In most cases, I'm not looking for a response, just a way for me to write about an incident with my NPD spouse and be able to let go of it.

Currently, when this need arises, I feel apprehensive about posting my "complaint" in the other categories.  I frankly feel like my "vent" is trivial compared to the issues of others, and am unsure of what to do. 

Does this make sense?  Maybe, there's a way to create a post-only category called VENTING (where members can vent about a situation, but no one else can respond).

Thanks for considering this.   -- FURID
Title: Re: "VENTING"
Post by: boots40 on March 28, 2014, 09:34:11 AM
Furid - I totally understand and agree with you.  I often wake up feeling upset about a memory which hurt me and I need to vent.  I read so many upsetting stories here I feel embarrassed to start a thread, when others have suffered serious abuse at the hands of their own parents/spouses. 

Saying that, I have been bowled over by the kindness shown to me. My 'trivialities' have always been taken very seriously and with compassion.  If you are hurting, you are hurting.   :hug:

In the meantime, if you are not wanting a response as such could you write an 'Unsent Letter' (further down the board)? I think it's a great way of giving members back their voice. 
Title: Re: "VENTING"
Post by: eclipse on March 28, 2014, 09:59:48 AM
Hi FURID and thanks a lot for your suggestion. I know I like to be heard and have my feelings validated especially when I am feeling angry.

The idea of a venting board was actually tried about 10 years ago at the previous incarnation of OOTF which was called "The Nook". The new board was called "Ranting and Raving". It only lasted about a month though before it was shut down because the moderators found that the amount of anger being expressed on all the boards - not just the "Ranting and Raving" board - suddenly started to rise exponentially creating a ton of extra work for the moderators to try to contain it.

We've got a section of our posting guidelines called "Dealing with anger" that has rules about what is OK to say/not say here for a similar reason - it's amazing how quickly a thread changes tone after a poster calls their significant other a jackass.  If the mods don't catch it within a couple of hours there will be half a dozen other posters using even less attractive terms in the same thread and within a day or two there will be multiple threads peppered with name calling. It quickly becomes a slippery slope and a huge job for the mods who have to decide "if we allowed Joe to say this don't we have to allow Jane to say that?"  It's far easier just to say "no name-calling"

There's also been quite a bit of psychological research done over the past few years on the subject of whether venting anger is a good or a bad idea which is really interesting. Most of the research says that expressing anger feels good at the time and gives you a catharsis but - sigh - it also gently lowers the threshold for feeling angry next time - a bit like the way a beaten path slowly forms in the grass after you walk over it enough times - eventually that path becomes "the way".

Turns out our brains work the same way - developing new connections every time we choose to think, speak or act in a certain way in response to a situation. Each time I vent - even in a safe place like this - I reinforce the habit and increase the likelihood I will feel angry and potentially vent in a not-so-safe place later. The path forms a whole lot faster if lots of people walk on it with you - hence a board called "venting" becomes a catalyst for anger - that probably explains why the "Ranting and Raving" board became a problem so quickly.

On the other hand, research also shows there is a ton of good in accurately describing a situation you are in and how that makes you feel and combining that with talk about healthy, constructive choices you can make in response to a situation that initially makes you feel angry. Talking or writing about what you feel and connecting it to healthy responses takes more mental effort - a bit like trying to start a new beaten path in the long grass at first. If you do it enough times eventually there's a new path where you want to go and like magic the grass starts to grow over the old venting path. Eventually it's just easier not to vent.

So please do use our board to describe how you feel - that's what we're here for - and describe what has happened to you - that's reality. And also talk about healthy responses to unhealthy situations - that's the magic. We are all survivors here and we share a unique  understanding. There is no distinction here between "major" and "mild" abuse. It all feels the same. If someone treats you nicely 99% of the time and treats you horribly 1% of the time you feel lousy 100% of the time. People here understand that. We want to validate you when you feel that and we also want you to find a way to "let it go" just like you said.

Lots of the old timers here (myself included) were full of pain and confusion and hot with anger when we first arrived here, After a long time and a lot of validation from dear friends here and also after making some good decisions it just doesn't get me angry very much any more - it just is what it is. I hope a few years from now you can say the same thing to a newbie here.

There are some good books on the subject of "Emotional Intelligence" or you can Google "Is Venting good for you" if you're interested.

Thanks again for your suggestion & see you around.

Title: Re: "VENTING"
Post by: rosie on March 28, 2014, 02:29:19 PM
Another suggestion - if you feel your anger is overpowering you, write it down, by all means, with old-fashioned pen and paper. The anger is then outside of you, and the best way to get rid of it is to burn it, and let the smoke blow away.

When I burned my parents' divorce paper in the fireplace, they released so much heat that they shattered the glass fireplace screen into a million pieces.

That made me think - anger is explosive, like eclipse says, and it is something that is best to deal with privately.
Title: Re: "VENTING"
Post by: Spring Butterfly on October 28, 2015, 11:40:09 AM
We encourage our members to tread carefully with venting and over generalization. Too much venting of anger often leads to guidelines violations including over generalization and name calling. OOTF guidelines are the community boundaries and all members need to keep this a safe place. We do need to swap stories and share so we don't feel alone but need to exercise caution not to cross the community boundaries.
Title: Re: "VENTING"
Post by: Spring Butterfly on December 07, 2015, 09:29:19 AM
This information on healing, grieving, anger, and feeling real feelings helped me so much. It also discusses what it means to actually verbally ventilate and it wasn't what I thought it meant. It talks about being able to anger and feel in a healthy and healing way.
Title: Re: "VENTING"
Post by: Spring Butterfly on January 25, 2016, 05:20:01 PM
Regarding name calling — From the book "Language of Emotions" by Karla McLaren
Let’s look at the difference between judging and name-calling by focusing on something simple. Let’s imagine a rug that doesn’t work in the room we’re in. We can judge the rug and see that its pile is too high for the traffic it gets or that its color is so light that its shows more wear and dirt than it should. Let’s agree that the rug isn’t ideal for the room. Perhaps we feel sad that so much money was wasted, perhaps we think about putting runners over the traffic areas, but we freely process information about the rug and add that information to our skill set. That’s judgment. It’s not name-calling; it’s a considered, decisive process. We have a problem with the rug, we have feelings about it, and we’re definitely judging it, but we’re not doing damage to our minds, our emotions, or our psyches. Therefore, we move forward with more knowledge about rugs and rug care and about purchases in general.

Now let’s get into name-calling about the same rug: “Why would anyone buy this rug? What kind of moron puts a pale, fluffy rug in a public area? Look at the way those colors clash; it looks like someone ate a box of crayons and then threw up on the floor! How can anyone think that this wretched excuse for a carpet...” With name-calling, we get personally affronted and belligerent, which means it’s not about the rug any longer; it’s about the chip on our shoulder, our childhood issues, or our unlived emotions. With name-calling, we throw blame all over the place, and we don’t internalize any useful information about the rug. In both of these examples, we don’t like the rug. But with name-calling, we fly off the handle and make wild assumptions and accusations.

These sorts of attacks damage us. They damage our emotions by lobbing them all over the room; they damage our intellects when we use them against others; and they damage us as individuals because our behavior is embarrassing to us and everyone around us. This name-calling doesn’t make us smarter, stronger, or more aware—it just pits us in futile opposition to a floor covering. When we judge appropriately, we restrict ourselves to the decisions we can make with the information we have, and we process our emotions coherently. Healthy judgment helps us choose what works in our lives. It helps us carefully evaluate situations and people with our minds and our emotions, and it helps us connect to our honest reactions and opinions. Healthy judgment helps us become more intelligent, and it helps us identify and articulate each of our emotions in its free-flowing state, in its mood state, and in its raging rapids state (if it has one).