Positive and Productive

Psychology Today…

The idea that “venting” anger has a beneficial cathartic effect is well entrenched in modern culture. Belief in the value of venting has manifested in the online world in the form of “rant” sites (e.g. Rant Rampage) where people not only get to freely express their vitriol, they can also read and comment on rants left by other venters. However, decades of research have shown that venting, far from releasing anger, actually makes it worse. Not surprisingly, a recent study has shown that online ranting seems to increase anger and is associated with anger-related problems. Ranting may be problematic because it associated anger with aggressive behaviour. On the other hand, expressing anger in a constructive and non-aggressive way can actually be beneficial.


I totally get that bad shit can happen in your life. But ultimately, having a screaming fit about anything never fixes the problem… and it can make things worse.

The have been a couple of times in our marriage where I’ve gotten extremely angry with Jennifer and as much as humanly possible during those moments, I’ve shut my mouth until I could talk like a rational person. In the most serious ones I’ve simply taken space from her until I could calm down. I’m not naturally a ball of anger, so my calm down period is usually fairly short, your mileage may vary. All in all, screaming some toxic venom at your partner is just creating a second problem other than the one that made you angry.

You’re always going to be better off over the long term, finding a productive and positive solution to your actual problem, rather than simply complaining about it. Talking to others who can keep you on track is very helpful too.

Come join the forum. Get the free forum booklet. Buy the Primer. Get started. Whatever it is, it can’t be that bad.



  1. If you feel that you’re about to explode like this, try and breathe deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Count to 10. Exploding won’t make you feel better, it won’t make anyone else respect you more and it sure as hell won’t solve the problem!

  2. …and when someone looks like they cannot control themselves – back off and give them space. There is a limit to how much self-control anyone has!

  3. My husband gets so annoyed with me because I won’t engage in fights once I’ve lost my cool. He says its like I’m incapable of expressing anger LOL … what he doesn’t seem to understand is that I save both of us a lot of hurt feelings by just backing off and finding my calm, happy place. Well… at least my calm place. ;)

    My oldest sister one time called me up on the phone because she was upset with something that my mom had said I had done or said or though about or something… To this day, I don’t fully understand what she was so pissed off about, but she was MAD. She ripped me apart, calling me a disgrace to the family, told me I was disrespecting our dead father, that I must hate our mother, that she couldn’t understand how I could stand to live with myself. She said I didn’t deserve anything that I had, blah blah blah… I eventually just hung up on her… then had to call up a friend and just cry until I was empty. It took me YEARS to recover from that attack, and my relationship with that sister now only exists because being nice to her is easier than causing family drama. She never apologized though.

    I learned that day that when you’re really, really angry, you sit back and you shut the fuck up until you can control what is going to come out of your mouth. Its one thing to have a constructive conversation when you’re angry, its a whole other thing to just lose it on them and call them names and rip them apart to their very soul. Words – even words that you may later regret – can really, really hurt. It made my favorite sister turn into basically the last person on earth that I care to talk to on any given day… and if mean words alone can do that, then it can easily destroy a marriage.

  4. Yeah, take a breath and think before you speak. Don’t say anything you may regret later and don’t slam shit or get physical. We are too evolved for that.

  5. And please realize that not venting anger or negative emotions does not mean that you should ignore it. That’s why the whole “Let it out” ideal came to be, people ignoring or repressing their emotions because a certain emotion was not allowed or to be expected at that moment, leading to all kinds of psychological trouble, because people started to ignore and deny having emotions.

    Recognize. Accept. Act. That is the kind of shit we should learn in kindergarten.

  6. totally. my go to is, “this will be discussed, but i’m too angry to talk about it rationally atm.” never had a woman not give the downward gaze into my eyes as i walked away.

    good stuff Athol.

  7. whatever says:

    You seem to think that lecturing people who have to swallow anger every day and who live in a culture of nothing but swallowing anger need this particular lecture. Perhaps you were a little alarmed by me. Of course I’m totally not normal and have gotten even worse as I stopped making excuses for how awful Americans are.

    I can just see how that not swallowing anger would play out in many real life situations:
    (At a family party, some crazy whore sees a step-family man playing with children in front of half of his family, she decided to express “alarm” and “concern” over him being a “child molester”, he backs off, but what if he was MEAN to her?)

    What if he shouted:
    “Hey Bruce, your crazy wife thinks I’m a child molester! Could you please come over here and tell her I’m not?”

    The key is to SHOUT. You positively want a scene.

    The key is to be minimally polite and force it till she has to admit you are “Not a child molester”. She will try to evade by cunningly pointing out that “She never said that.” Simply keep pushing until she is forced to very PUBLIC tell him that “No, you are not a child molester.” If she won’t say it, then ask her if she does think you are a child molester. She’ll either be forced to admit that, yes, she is a lunatic whore, or back down. It’s fun for everyone.

    That would be the last time any War Bitch accused any step-family of being a child molester at any party. It’s called having some small measure of pride.

  8. Shadow_Nirvana says:

    There is a huge difference waiting for your senses to return to you after being so angry at your spouse or your friend that you are incapable of rational action and doing nothing to defend yourself after being called a child molester for no reason by an obnoxious bitch. I don’t think this post is about the latter. Don’t blur the lines of self defense and destructive anger.

    The key isn’t to swallow your anger. The key is to understanding it, and using it’s energy to use it in a positive and productive way as dealing with the pain(or some other emotion) that’s causing the anger in the first place.

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