This is actually a question that was part of a conversation…. But the answer to this question seems more interesting than the (rhetorical) question in itself…
Question: if I talk with my sisters about my partner, that helps me to get the things of my chest, right?
Answer: “Yo”.. (or “Nes”… meaning Yes-or-No depending on the way you do it.
Yes, trying to press away emotions in your heart is probably not the best way to find emotional health.
But there is a big difference between “venting” and “gossip”. Especially if you are in a polyamorous relation and you are talking with your metamour you might wanna be aware of the undercurrent of your words.
I am not gonna say “you shouldn’t say this or that” because the intentional undercurrent is sometimes way more harmful than the content of the words. You know how sometimes “saying nothing” can be way more destructive than venting the anger or sadness.
Venting or Gossiping between metamours: What’s the difference?
In both “venting and in “gossip” you both say something -most likely negative- about someone. But the vast difference is in the outcome.
Emotions have behaviors strapped to them. Emotions have feelings strapped to them. Anger heats the system up, makes my face flush and clench my fists, makes me want to hit, strangle, bite or kick someone -preferences preferences-… Sadness makes me want to retreat and lick my wounds, or seek shelter in strong arms, or go to a friend for solace… -you get my drift-.
Gossip and complaining
I am not talking about gossipping about unimportant things or fun things as meant in the category “gossip” over here. Nothing wrong with that. But when we are gossiping about our partner… that is a completely other thing.
Complaining “gossip” usually really digs in the negative emotion. It makes the feeling feels right(eous) and because I have expressed that feeling I will feel more entitled to feel that emotion… and allso entitled to act upon it.
The feeling has deepened. I won’t act upon it myself maybe but the chances that I myself or someone else is gonna act upon it in the future has grown. It might even have spread to someone else. In the metamour example: my anger (about something) toward my lover and the urge to do something with that emotion, to act upon it may even have infected my metamour to act toward my lover, even though they have not experienced anything with my lover themselves.
Gossip is aimed towards “acting out” the feeling (even if I transfer the acting-out behavior to someone else)…
This is the reason why you might wanna be careful when experiencing “sisterhood” or “brotherhood” with your metamour toward your shared lover. The line between venting and gossip is sometimes very small and words are not always heard as they were spoken…
remember: emotions are contagious…
If I “vent” to someone the feeling-part of my emotion gets clarified and I most likely an more clear on how to behave ont the situation that created this emotion. Most likely the feeling of the emotion has gotten less intense and in general my coping of this situation will have improved and I am less haunted by the feeling-part of the emotion since I know what to do with it in the furure.
Or of course (’cause life sucks sometimes, people make mistakes and shit happens) it helps me to accept things that happened and not have so much feelings and the action-tendencies attached to the memory of those negative moments in the past. Venting may help me to store the negative memories of the past where they belong… in the past.
In short: venting has a positive undercurrent, aimed towards dealing with a (negative) situation that has occurred, it is helpful to contain and align your feelings and actions. Gossip helps to act out your feelings (indirectly) and it helps to churn anger into retaliation and sadness into depression… don’t!
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