Stress Management

There's Nothing Wrong With Going Off On a Rant -- as Long as You Do It Properly

There's Nothing Wrong With Going Off On a Rant -- as Long as You Do It Properly
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Sometimes you just have to let it out.

The pressures of mounting deadlines, difficult work situations, family demands at home and the need to have some sort of a personal life can sometimes get too much to balance and too much to bear.

We’ve all been there -- and in fact you might be there right now.

Related: Even Control Freaks Need Wisdom to Accept What They Can't Change

There’s nothing wrong with a good rant and a healthy venting session with someone you trust to help you get past the phase you are in. Let it out! In fact, it can be quite healthy if you do it safely.

Safely? What’s that supposed to mean?

Truth be told, while it might feel good at the time, a good old-fashioned rant can also get you in a heap of trouble, making matters even worse. It can damage your reputation, make you seem difficult to be around and create trust issues with other -- at work and at home.

I’ve been there too!

So here are a few guidelines, if you will, for venting your feelings -- safely.

1. Pick the right person.

When you need to vent, do it with someone you really trust. You probably don’t want your opinions to be public knowledge at this point, and you probably aren’t even in a position to really change the dynamic. So talk to someone who won’t repeat what you say or how you say it. And ideally, pick someone who is objective and will just listen.

The last thing you need is someone chiming in and torqueing you up even more! Now on the other hand, if you do want your opinions voiced but can’t really do it on your own, pick the right person in this instance as well. Tell your woes to someone who will know how to plant the message properly, not just broadcast it and make you look foolish.

Related: 4 Ways to Defuse Your Anger Before It Blows Up Your Career

2. Don’t hold back.

A good venting session with the right person should be raw and unedited. This is your chance to tell it like it is from your point of view, with whatever language you choose. You can scream, curse and gesture all you want -- and indeed you should. The whole point is not to find a solution but to get the situation off your chest. There’s no need to be politically correct or to use proper grammar. Just be honest and emotional, so that you can move on. Point number one is particularly essential here.

3. Stay out of the public’s eye.

This should probably be rule number one -- don’t rant where it can be easily shared. When you vent out loud, it should be live or over the phone, with no danger of it being permanently recorded and later used against you. This is one area where the word “never” definitely applies. Never put your rant in writing, on email or over a voicemail. Never. Otherwise it has a good chance of publicly shaming you and haunting you for a very long time. I’d stay off texting too, because that can be archived and forwarded.

And please, do yourself a favor and stay off social media. Sure, you can certainly jump on a social media soapbox to voice your opinion on a sensitive matter or to weigh in on a debate. That’s different. But if you have a beef that you need to release, don’t make it public for everyone to consume, because even after the issue blows over, you’ll still be reminded of it as it gets commented on and shared all around you.

Related: Don't Get Stupid, Use Your Anger for Good

It’s healthy to vent, and it’s good to go on a rant once in awhile. It shows that you’re human, passionate and thoughtful. Just do it with care and with your own safety in mind.

Now I’m off my soapbox!