I Need To Vent To Someone: How To Vent When No One Is Listening
Updated November 30, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Kelly Kampf
Life can be too much sometimes. Life can feel like one thing after another after another. When we’re emotionally bombarded like this, our first thought is often, “I need to vent to someone.” You may not be sure of what you want to say or why; you know you need to let some steam out before you press on. But sometimes, there isn’t someone around who is willing or able to hear you out. Sometimes you are alone, unable to reach your loved ones because of time zones or a different location or have a support system that doesn’t want to listen at the moment. It can be hurtful to feel like no one is there to listen to you, especially when something (or multiple things) is troubling you. You deserve to be heard.
While it is endlessly frustrating not to have anyone to hear you vent and perhaps even hurtful or lonely, your need persists. Just because no one is around you at the moment doesn’t mean that your desire to share and vent goes away. Here are some alternative ways you can vent when no one can listen.
Write It Out
Just because there’s no one around to hear you out doesn’t mean you should go without venting your frustrations. It can be healthy to vent, as venting allows us to begin processing our emotions so that we may move on to problem-solving. When we take the time to put our unspoken thoughts and frustrations into words, we begin to add our own analysis and critical responses, making it easier for us to decide what steps to take next.
When no one is around to hear you, writing can help you to feel heard and expressed. Jotting down your venting can be cathartic and can act as a good release for some of the more complicated or intense emotions you feel. Not only will this help you to express whatever it is you’re feeling, but it will still be around later when you feel calmer and ready to tackle whatever it is that’s bothering you. Having a record of what your thoughts were at that moment can help you focus on what you want or exactly why something bothered you. Mental health experts believe that writing mimics the benefits and understanding one can gain from therapy or sharing with friends.
Sometimes, we’re in a place where we really need to express something to a specific person. Where “I need to vent” transforms into I need so and so to hear these things from me. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, and another person isn’t always willing to hear what you have to say. Sometimes, when this is the case, it can be helpful to write that person a letter. This isn’t something you necessarily need to send or share with the person, but it may be a helpful way for you to express what you’re feeling or prepare for a conversation at a later time. Writing to a specific person can help you realize what you want to express to them and why. After you’ve written to this person, you may have realized something else and feel more at ease. At this point, you may not even want to send the letter.
Additionally, you may want to write a letter to someone who has always given you exceptional advice. This can help you start thinking of that person and the ways they might respond to your problem. Perhaps someone close to you has recently passed or is otherwise unavailable to advise you; writing can be a great way to think about what they might say to you during whatever it is you’re dealing with.
Ask If Someone Is Willing To Hear You
Do you ever have a moment where you are just so wrapped up in your own thoughts that you don’t have the energy to deal with anyone else? Most of us do. We all have our own problems and unique landscapes we’re trying to maneuver, and unfortunately, our timelines don’t always line up. A good time for me to talk might not always be a good time for you. Sometimes when you need a friend to talk to most, they need the same thing, and both of you feel unable to vent to one another. Other times someone may agree to listen to you vent even if they can’t really focus; later, they could find themselves resentful of you and unwilling to listen to your future problems. As frustrating as it is, there are times and places where we can’t vent to someone.
It may be wise to ask whoever you want to talk with if they have the time and energy to hear you out to get around this. While this may sound like an awkward thing to do, it goes a long way to show that you want to support your friend too. This can be as simple as saying, “I need to vent, do you have time to talk about it?” or “Something’s bothering me, I know we’ve already talked about it, but would you mind if I vent about it a little more?” Likely, your friend will truly appreciate this step of consideration you took. Even if they may not have the energy to listen to you right then, they may be more amicable to setting up another time to listen.
Truly listening to someone can be exhausting; it isn’t easy to hear about another person’s pain. Many of us choose to avoid hearing about devastation, especially when we’re struggling with something ourselves. Additionally, many people vent regularly, and you may not be the only person coming to your friend. Someone being unable to listen at a particular moment doesn’t mean they don’t care; they may just be worn out. Remember this before launching into a vent session without warning.
Express Your Frustration Creatively
The release of emotions that we receive from venting can come in many forms besides actual venting. Sometimes it’s less about the words and more about just getting the feelings out or doing something cathartic. If this may be the case for you, go for it. Many different activities can be cathartic: paint, draw, dance, sing. Do whatever creative task you think you can handle and pay attention to how it makes you feel. Even if you don’t believe yourself to have any creative prowess try to listen to music that expresses your mood- listen to breakup songs after a breakup, listen to loud and bold music when you feel angry, let yourself feel your emotions through art. Creative pursuits allow us to vent our frustration in a new and enlightening way.
If a creative outlet is not for you, you can also try exercising or going for a walk or run to let off some of the steam while you wait to talk to someone. Having a safe physical outlet like sport or exercise can be a beneficial way to let our bodies vent.
Seek Outside Ears
Now and then, alternatives just don’t fit the bill, and truly all you need to do is a vent to someone. We all prefer venting to a friend or trusted family member, but if no one in your immediate social circle is willing or able to listen at the moment, consider looking outside of your social circle. Support groups, crisis hotlines or warmlines, and talk therapy are places where one can find a listening ear and a safe place to vent.
Talk therapy allows you to address whatever is bothering you now and build tools, and gain strategies that you can use throughout your life. Many psychologists note that burying your emotions or keeping negative feelings can lead to negative thought patterns that persist throughout your life. Talking through your emotions and problems can help break these patterns and set you up for greater mental health overall. If you’re looking for a listening ear, consider ReGain as a starting point to find an empathetic, licensed mental health professional.
Support groups can be especially helpful if you are dealing with a specific problem that others may also be dealing with, like depression, going through a divorce, or losing someone close to you. It can be especially powerful to be in a space where others understand what you are going through on a personal level.
Speaking about whatever is on your mind can help bring further awareness and understanding of your problem. Whether you find space to vent in a journal, in a safe support group, or more traditional talk therapy, venting helps you take on the more difficult human emotions. It’s natural to want to vent our frustrations, and you deserve to be heard.
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