Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
how to vent express frustration English

Do you like to vent a lot when you have problems? Are you good at expressing your frustration in English?

Do you hear people talking about venting a lot in English?

There are so many different thoughts about venting, and we’re going to look at those today.

We all have the need to talk to somebody we trust about a stressful situation.

So we’ll look at how venting can be good and bad, and how it all works.

Get Your Transcripts Today!

English transcripts

Make sure you understand every word you hear on All Ears English.

Bring your English to the advanced level with new vocabulary and natural expressions.
Subscribe and get the transcripts delivered by email.

Learn to speak naturally with the American accent.

Click here to subscribe and save 50%

We have a listener question about this word!

Hi ladies,

I listen to your podcasts all the time, and I just love them. I learn a lot from them all the time. I do have a question for you about these podcasts though. I heard you say “it’s venting.” I didn’t understand this, so what does “venting” mean? I just don’t understand this word or how it works in conversation. Can you help me?

I hope to hear from you soon!

Thank you,


Understanding This Common Word

It may be a word that you have heard in conversation before.

So what does it mean to vent?

Sometimes we talk about complaining on the show and we say we don’t want to be negative.

However, sometimes complaining is real life! 

Venting is talking to someone about your problems.

You may vent to your husband, your mom, or a friend that you trust.

We all have the need to talk about things when they get stressful or overwhelming.

This is what venting allows us to do and it ensures that you hopefully feel better after you talk about things.

It’s worth considering if venting is a cultural thing.

It may be something that is more common within the US than in other countries.

What do you vent about or hear others vent about?

Do you vent only to your friends and family or do it in a professional environment?

There are so many different aspects to venting, and though it can be a nice release, it can also get out of hand quickly too.

We’re going to look at the many different angles to venting, and then you can decide for yourself how to keep it all in check.

The Many Ways To Look At Venting

There are so many different opinions and thoughts about venting.

There are many articles out there that talk about it and they all seem to have different opinions on the subject.

Articles talk about venting in general and even venting at work.

The idea in many of these articles is that venting should be productive, and not work against you.

There was one article in particular to look at “Rumination Nation” by Julia Case-Levine published on June 18, 2016.

In this article it says that if you’re going to vent about your problems, do it right.

This article talks about venting perhaps being more of a gender based thing.

Some people say that women tend to vent more than men, but that’s an opinion and it is likely to vary.

There’s another article worth looking at called “Should You or Should You Not Vent About Stress?”

This looks at things from the angle of the amount of stress that venting may add to your life.

Is talking about stress a healthy release that helps you?

Alternatively it looks at if venting can actually add to your stress and make things worse.

These articles give you something important to think about as it pertains to venting.

Though there can be some really great aspects to it, you just have to be careful about how you approach it.

Take a look at these articles and really understand where the limitations are to venting.

Is it more common amongst women or is that a stereotype?

If nothing else, this can give you something to think about and consider if this is the right thing for you in your situation.

Is Venting Okay?

This is definitely an opinion type of thing, as there are many thoughts about venting out there.

You don’t want to speak negatively about others, and that’s important to keep in mind.

You want to be sure that aren’t “co-ruminating” as the article talks about.

That is to say you don’t want to say too much, be too negative, or make things any worse than they are.

It’s okay and it’s natural and human to vent, but you want to be careful with it to a certain extent too.

You have to ask yourself the nature of the venting, and ensure that it’s good and not negative.

So is venting the same as gossip?

No it’s really not, but you have to work to ensure that it stays that way.

We did an episode on that very thing that can help you to see the difference and what gossip really is.

That’s Juicy! How To Comment On Gossip and More In English

So is venting healthy or does it hurt us?

Venting is pretty common, particularly within the US?

Though venting itself is normal, you have to be careful that it doesn’t lead to other bad things like gossip and bullying.

Those are the things that are bad and damaging, so just be sure that you keep the venting in check.

It is important to get things off your chest, so venting to somebody that you trust is a good thing.

It’s also important to be there for somebody when they need to talk to you because they feel upset and need to vent too.

So yes venting can be a good thing, but you just want to be sure that it doesn’t get out of hand.

Talking About Venting

The reality is that venting is a part of life, and you are going to do it at some point in time.

It may be different in every culture, but it’s often a part of life.

It may be interesting to compare how venting is in different cultures.

There are a couple of great words and phrases you can use to talk about venting and the whole process of it.

  • Confide: This is the trust that you use to talk to someone. You know that talking to this person is safe and that they won’t repeat what you say. You are putting your trust in them knowing that you can vent and it will stay between you two.
  • Talk  in circles: This is truly the danger of venting because you may be saying things that you shouldn’t or having them repeated. If you vent and it gets repeated then you may be talking in circles to prevent it from getting out.
  • Confidante: This is the person that you vent to. They are the one person that you know you can trust. You know that they will never repeat what you say, and so they are who you run to when you need to talk.

If you need to vent to someone there are certain things you can say.

These questions and phrases can be helpful in times when you feel like you need to vent to someone.

  • Do you mind if I vent to you for a minute? It’s asking for permission but in a casual way. You would use this with somebody that you feel comfortable with. It’s your in to talk about what’s on your mind.
  • Do you have a sec? I need to vent. It’s another informal way of initiating the conversation. You have something you need to vent about, and you are trying to get just a second of this person’s time. It’s casual but let’s them know that you need to talk as soon as possible.
  • Sorry, I don’t want to be negative. I just have some things I need to vent about. Nobody really wants to be negative, but sometimes things get to you. This is a great way to put it out there that you’re not trying to be negative, but you just need to talk about the situation at hand.

These are the things to say about venting.

It may be that you want to ask someone if you can vent to them, or it may be when you want to talk


The idea of venting may be a cultural thing, or it just might be more common in the US.

It may be an age thing because certain generations may have a tendency to vent a little mroe.

Some say it may have something to do with gender too.

In the end, we all have an innate need to talk to others about things that are bothering you and to express our frustration.

You don’t want to keep everything inside because it makes it worse.

You need to find a happy medium and make your venting useful instead of hurtful.

Venting is a part of life, and now you have the tools to do it in English with native speakers.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X
  • App-Store-Button
  • google-play-badge
  • Badges (1)
  • Badges-1 (1)
  • Badges-2 (1)
  • US_ListenOn_AmazonMusic_button_black_RGB_5X