Complaining or Venting?

By Jess
@JJ4Ever (4696)
United States
May 3, 2010 6:47pm CST
Hey everyone! I was just wondering if, in your opinion, there is a difference between complaining and venting? The reason I ask is because my day didn't start off too great today once I got to work. Fortunately, I have a very good friend who works in the same building, so we were able to go for a walk on our break. The weather has been absolutely beautiful lately! I told her I needed a "venting" session, but does it really mean that I just want to complain? I won't go into the details, but once I got it off my chest I felt so much better! So...what do you think? Is there a difference between complaining and venting? If so, what sets them apart?
3 people like this
10 responses
@yumanal (143)
• China
4 May 10
The different between them is that complain is something you HAVE TO say and venting is something you WANT TO say . Happy mylot ! Don't complain and vent .
2 people like this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
23 Aug 11
I like your definition of complaining and venting. It's very simple and easy to understand. Do you not agree with venting? I think sometimes it's necessary, although venting can tend to be very negative just like complaining.
@GardenGerty (101609)
• United States
4 May 10
Venting is the same as letting off steam. You probably would not want everyone to hear or know about what you are venting about, as sometimes it is just something that bothers you, but you do not expect a solution. It is kind of like "this is how life is right now." I think I prefer venting to complaining, because once it is over, it is over.Complaining often seems to have no end in my book, and the person who is complaining will never be satisfied.
2 people like this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
15 Jul 10
Hi, Gerty. Your response is so wonderfully put. Venting is literally the meaning of the word. When we vent the roof of our house someday, it'll let the attic "breathe," so to speak. That's my more literal definition of the word with a nice analogy - LOL! Seriously, though, venting is necessary, in my opinion. It's letting off that steam as you said and then never bringing it up again later. I think that's the core difference between it and complaining. Complaining is going on and on about something to someone who can't do anything about it. For instance, if I go on and on about the horrible weather to my friend. She can't do anything about it, so why am I wasting my breath? I know I do it, but I can't stand complaining because it's such a waste of time and completely unproductive. I'm trying to get myself out of the habit and using venting as my outlet instead. Thanks for your insightful response!
@manubla (474)
• Philippines
4 May 10
Nice question. For me, these two are different. Venting out is just letting it all out of your system. You just want a friend to hear you out. You don't expect her to give you an advice or to agree with you. After that, you'll feel much better and forget about what happened. Complaining on the other hand is grumbling or whining about something to someone and expecting that someone to give his opinion about the matter. More often than not, you also expect that person to agree with you. Sometimes, you also take steps further like if you are in an establishment, you would want to talk to the store manager or botique owner to personally give out your complaint and you expect the proper action on their end.
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
4 May 10
I couldn't agree with you more! I find that after I vent, I feel better and am done with it. Once I vent, I don't normally bring it up again...or should I saw, I never have to vent about it again. It may come up again, but since I already got it off my chest, it's fine. I also agree with you that venting is normally done between two friends who most likely will agree with one another. I don't normally vent to acquaintances because they wouldn't understand what I'm going through. Only close friends will know what's on my mind and be close enough to me for me to share those details with them. I like the example you used for a complaint in that it is something we would share with someone high up at a store because that person is someone who can resolve the issue for us. That's a really great practice also. If we're going to complain, might as well complain to someone who can do something about it - LOL! Thanks for your response.
1 person likes this
@tmarra14 (11)
• United States
3 May 10
I would say there is a difference. Exactly how i would describe the difference is a tough one. However have you ever seen a venting box at a department store. Complaints generally are a problem that would need to be fixed, where venting is freeing your mind? Good question though.
2 people like this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
4 May 10
First of all, let me say that I'm honored you have chosen this as your first discussion to respond to! I'm so excited, and I hope that you will enjoy MyLot. It is a wonderful place. I love your response. You're exactly right that to pinpoint the difference between complaining and venting is hard, but we know that there definitely is a difference! I couldn't have defined these terms better myself. Complaining definitely does reference an issue that needs a solution whereas venting is only for the sake of being heard and feeling better afterward. Thanks again and best of luck to you! Keep up the good work.
1 person likes this
@catalyser (531)
• Malaysia
3 May 10
From what I understand with venting and complaining is that venting is when you would want to tell somebody about your problems and just want to be heard. Venting is when you don't expect a reply just want the other person to hear you out. This is almost similar with complaining except you with complaining, you would expect some respond from the person you are complaining to.
2 people like this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
4 May 10
I can definitely agree with your response in that venting is simply a cry to be heard! I've done that many times, but I would hope I'm not so much of a complainer. To add to what you said about complaining - I think it does require a response for the other person, and I've also experienced that it tends to go on and on. It seems like sometimes complaining never ends! Maybe what I'm trying to say is that complaining is a habit or tendency? I have a friend who is a complainer, so perhaps that's where I get that from. Everything out of her mouth is a complaint. When she needs to vent to me, it's actually a relief because, for once, she's not complaining! She's simply relaying information to me, like a negative experience or something like that. I've learned to always have an opinion in regards to whatever she is telling me! Most of the time, I agree with her, but I wouldn't go as far as to complain about it and bring it up over and over again. That's why I like venting so much. You share your thoughts and are done with it. I don't know about you, but I always feel so much better after venting! I don't feel better after complaining. So maybe that's another difference! Thanks for your response. I really enjoyed reading it.
1 person likes this
@mac_fish (723)
• China
4 May 10
hi,JJ4ever Maybe POURING all ur bad emotion out totally is called venting,like"sream",it's something as make-over,u donnt have to do that for couple of times.Once is enough to feel better,get rid of all the depression,and complaining is more close to nagging,a sort of continue behavior,which would bother ur poor listener........
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
23 Aug 11
Complaining = nagging - this is so very true! Nagging I associate with the same thing over and over and over again. It's so very annoying. However, venting is a one-time deal, like you said, and the person doing the venting should always feel better since they got whatever it was out in the open. It's like pushing off a burden that you've been carrying for a while. I like how you compared it to a stream because that's really what it's like!
@qamarep (4449)
• Pakistan
4 May 10
i know what is the complaining but dont get what is venring..
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
15 Jul 10
Hi there, my definition of venting would be to tell a friend or someone close to me something about my day or another detail to get it off my chest, which will in turn make me feel better. It's not something that I think we could do anything about, it's just to state the facts to get that other person's opinion about it. Complaining is more a continuous thing to say something negative over and over, something that no one can do a thing about. Complaining for instance about the weather can get annoying because it's not like we can do anything about it! I hope that helps you understand better what venting is. I don't see venting as a negative thing like complaining. It's better probably not to let either of these become a habit, though! Thanks for your response and take care.
@rosie230 (1674)
4 May 10
Well in my mind complaining I always associate with just generally moaning about things, like moaning about the rain, or moaning because your too hot or moaning about the fact that the house is a mess again. Venting, well I associate that when I have an argument with someone, normally my other half lol, but yeah, venting when I have to get something off my chest, it normally results in an argument or something.
1 person likes this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
23 Aug 11
I find that interesting that your venting turns into an argument, but sometimes people around you aren't happy with what you're trying to get off your chest. I think venting is very necessary to make a person feel better, so if others don't like it when I vent, then they can go listen to someone else lol!
@cyrus123 (6383)
• United States
4 May 10
I think there's a difference in complaining and venting, too. Venting is where you're just getting something off of your chest. I think complaining is where you talk about something you don't like and hope the problem gets straightened out.
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
23 Aug 11
Cyrus, I agree that venting is getting something off your mind. A lot of times it's necessary. Complaining is just empty air sometimes because when I hear (or participate in) complaining, it's a lot of talk about something someone doesn't like while they do absolutely nothing about it. Complaining is saying negative things about something you don't like while also doing not a thing about it. I don't think complaining is necessary because it reminds me a whining, which I can't stand lol! Yes, you're right about complaining "hoping" something works out instead of being the one willing to get it resolved yourself. I think complaining can also be borderline laziness. If I want something done, I'd rather just do it myself than complain about it not being done, if you know what I mean!
@pumared (515)
• Bulgaria
4 May 10
complaining