Why do we vent? A Rambling

Words by Alisha Rao


Last night was a big night for Game of Thrones fans; the series was finally over after 8 years. Maybe the cast was right when they said the audience was going to be upset at the series’ ending in some shape or form, but I personally thought I wouldn’t feel that way. That was before I watched the final season’s events unfold, and I promise: no spoilers. However, I kept trying to justify what frustrated me, giving my running commentary during every episode when normally I sit quietly and simply watch. Maybe, the way I predicted developments based on factors like symbolism or dialogue has greatly improved over the years, or the show had become predictable, and that irritated me. I could and would never give myself credit for ‘knowing’ how it works when I watched that final season, but I couldn’t avoid the frustration I felt knowing I saw many developments coming, among other things.


Leaving out the important details, that paragraph right there was me venting a little. I like to objectively think venting and ranting are quite synonymous but for some reason I still separate the two words. For some reason, they’re mutually exclusive, and maybe that is only my experience. The dictionary online states ranting as something more anger-driven, something more personal, while venting is said to be free but firm expression of an emotion. After I finished that final episode, I would never deny how sad I felt that my favourite show had come to an end, but I was venting to myself why some things felt wrong, what I was okay with, the list goes on. So, with that said, if ranting can be somewhat separated from venting, why does venting exist on its own?


Maybe, venting is ranting taken down a couple notches; it is not so in your face that a discussion can get heated, and when I use that word, it is usually to get some weight off my chest, however superficial or genuine that weight is. Ranting was also defined as being impassioned, and that may not be entirely true, but it isn’t false. Ranting can be more intense, sometimes turning into a ramble. One of the results of starting a rant is that it may spark responses, which is something I do not necessarily associate with venting. I have also had moments where I would vent to a friend, in which my venting was interwoven with the trust I placed in and thus confided in them. Venting then can be considered more of an expression, and not simply a feeling rooted in human emotions as ranting tends to be. If I rant about something, maybe I will get a response siding or disagreeing with my points, but if I vent about something, I am not expecting anything, just hoping to let my thoughts out and facilitate some catharsis. As I think more, I still struggle to create a clear discrepancy between the two, even though I have this idea they can be separated.


Maybe, this is a rant on venting as a concept or vice versa. My opinions on both share similarities and differences, and maybe it is a little silly that on this metaphysical level I decided to write about something that shows a cycle in the way we agree, disagree, the way trust and/or express ourselves. I overthink often, and this issue is no exception, but I want to know what everyone else things about this. I had to ask myself after that last episode whether I was ranting or venting, and I think I express myself better in words; am I still ranting or venting at this point? I don’t really know, but that is okay.

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