Randi Kreger has brought the concerns of people who have a family member with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to an international forefront through her best-selling books, informative website, and popular online family support community Welcome to Oz.
Does Venting Reduce Anger? Nope.
This is a memo I sent to everyone on my online Welcome to Oz family community. If you have a high conflict family member it may interest you, too. For more about WTO, go to https://www.bpdcentral.com/support-groups/.
Hi everyone. Are you looking forward to summer as me? For those who always live in a warm climate, invite me over in January, February, and March. If you live in Southern California, I will bring the water from Lake Michigan.
You probably don't know this, but I take a great deal of heat about the level of negativity and anger that can come out on these groups. Believe me, *I* understand where you're coming from. On one hand, I believe that people should be able to say what they want to. If not here, then where?
Yet on the other hand, it has its dangers. Another group like this one trains hordes of volunteers to help get members focused on solutions, learning, understanding (of everything), and self-reflection. I don't use volunteers. In my experience, they too often had their own agendas.
But it sure would be nice to get people more involved with solutions, learning, understanding (of everything), and self-reflection. I listened with interest to a study I read the other day about whether or not venting makes you more angry or les angry. You know what they found out? (This is from NPR):
"Punching pillows and breaking dishes doesn't reduce subsequent anger expression. That, the research shows clearly."
In fact, the research very clearly shows the opposite is true: The more you get angry, the angrier you get. And, so, researchers across the nation are now on a campaign to recast our view of anger expression
So while complaining and venting will always be here in one form or another, ask yourself every once in awhile,
Is what I am doing on this list the most effective thing for me to be doing? Are we here just to complain, or to get validated, realize we're not alone, and eventually move on and learn skills and talk about how those skills work?
I don't care what book you want to use. Everybody and take one (as I have seen many people do) and after saying, "Me too, I hate it when that happens," look for something to get you out of the unhelpful Cycle of Blame. You know what doesn't work. Time to try out something new and see what does.
Just a thought.
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