There are quite a few differences between venting and gossiping that we need to be aware of.
Both of those things might not be the best way to express ourselves or communicate with others, but in this article, we will see why one is way worse than the other.
What is venting?
Venting means to express negative emotion forcefully, which usually leads to us saying more than we want and sometimes more than we believe because we are angry. It can be about a person, an object, an event, or anything like that. So it doesn’t have to affect someone else negatively, it can be just our frustration.
What is gossiping?
Gossiping is spreading personal information about someone else to affect their reputation or just to put yourself in a good light in front of others and grab their attention. That personal information might be true, just rumors or straight-up lies.
We tend to say that anything we talk about other people is gossip, but there are clear differences between gossiping and sharing information.
Check the article I linked to see those differences.
5 Differences between venting and gossiping
Here are the five main differences between gossiping and venting that come to my mind.
1. The intention behind.
By definition, gossiping has a bad intention, while venting it’s about getting something out of our chest that is really bothering us. Venting about someone might end up hurting them since we are not so careful with what we say when we are angry, but this is not always what happens.
Gossip is just to grab attention or to affect someone else’s reputation.
So if you are expressing yourself about someone else while you are angry and the intention is to hurt them or their reputation, you might end up doing both, gossiping while venting. So one does not exclude the other, but they are different.
2. Venting is personal
Venting is about how a person, a thing, or an event makes you feel, it is not about what you want to obtain by expressing yourself but rather about how you feel about something.
Gossip can be about something that is not affecting you personally, which makes gossiping much worse than venting.
Here is an article about venting to friends about your relationship if you want to read more on that.
3. Venting is not necessarily about a person
Since venting can be about an object or an event or anything else but not necessarily a person, sometimes, it might not have a negative effect. So you venting about something makes you feel better because you are getting it out of your chest without hurting someone else, maybe just the person that is listening to you, but if they are your close friends, they will not bother, and perhaps they will understand that it is temporarily.
4. The outcome
By venting, the outcome might be just the fact that you expressed yourself and you feel relieved or angrier, depending on the circumstances. It can also have a negative outcome if it affects another person or circumstances, but that is not always the case.
While gossiping might bust your reputation for the moment but more often than not, it will affect your reputation more than the person you gossip about. Most people will hear what you have to say, listen to you at the moment because we like drama, but they will not appreciate that you are gossiping because they will think that you might gossip about them as well. So you end up with less or not as good relationships with people around you because of trust issues.
5. What it says about your character
Gossip shows that you are a weak person, while venting shows that you might be in a vulnerable moment, but it doesn’t define you.
We are all venting from time to time for various reasons. Many things or people can bother us, and we might lose ourselves for brief moments. But that doesn’t mean that this is who we are or we are doing this on purpose to hurt someone else.
On the other hand, gossiping is a low-hanging fruit to grab attention and give you importance, but it has a disastrous outcome, so it is not worth it if you want to build a healthy image/reputation for yourself.
Gossipers tend to have inflated self-esteem because they think that you will not talk with the person they are talking about, and often those persons are mutual friends or mutual acquaintances.
I saw people gossiping about other people’s families or close friends with confidence, and they were shocked when the other person found out. Which is stupid, how do you expect to say something bad about someone else’s and expect that it will stay secret, or even worst, how do you expect that someone will not stand up for their friends?
Read Also: Should You Tell Your Friends Your Salary?
Both venting and gossiping can have a bad outcome and a bad intention, however, venting is not all that bad and sometimes might not affect someone else.
So, while venting is somewhat unavoidable, we should stay away from gossiping as much as we can.
I hope this article clarifies those two words and you better understand what you are actually doing in different situations.