The Instigator
Pro (for)
18 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

emotional suppression is better than venting

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/22/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,382 times Debate No: 27432
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)




My sister thinks that venting your bad emotions is a healthy thing. I think the opposite, but instead of telling her so in a calm and mature manner, I would like to debate the issue here.


In this day and age, what with the economy as it is, the strain on relationships is approaching monumental levels. It’s interesting to note that back in the days of the Great Depression, people were making babies and sticking together, through thick and thin, creating all sorts of “baby boomers” in their wake. In today’s world, however, the stresses and strains of everyday life seem to be ripping relationships to tatters. Everywhere we turn, people are venting all over the place.

The act of venting has positive and negative effects on more than just the person doing the said act. The opposing sides of this issue are what are being discussed in this writing.

On the positive side of the “vent” topic is the fact that all manner of health professionals say that releasing the rage is way more beneficial to the body than keeping it inside and creating a “stack attack.” That term was coined to express a visual of stacking issue upon issue deep down inside and allowing it to build up and explode much in the same way the steam explodes out of the top of a tea kettle once it gets hot enough. Explosions are not good in this sense of the word. So, releasing it in POSITIVE ways is much more beneficial not only to the physical body, but to the mind, the emotions, and the spiritual part of the whole being.

Positive ways to vent might include the following:

  • screaming into a pillow, as it is not physically or emotionally harmful to the “ventor” or anyone within the immediate area
  • punching a pillow or a punching bag, as this, too, hurts no one else
  • taking a long, fast – paced walk, to burn off some of that frustration and anger – the endorphins created by this energy are the bio-chemicals that not only release physical pain from the body but also work as calming, vibrational energy to soothe the entire state of being
  • listening to some calming, peaceful music while sitting quietly in a comfortable spot with your eyes closed, focusing on your breathing
  • going to the movies to watch a funny film because they say laughter truly is the best medicine of all
  • writing in a journal or a diary in 3 separate parts.

The first part is where you write what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling that way, and to whom that anger is addressed

The second part is where you write the above thoughts from the other person’s perspective – for example: how they feel about seeing you so angry, why they think you are angry with them, and how you think they would resolve the issue if they would choose to do so

The third part is where you would write the above as if it was being witnessed by a third, totally objective party. You would state what they are seeing as they observe your anger, they would state why they think you got so angry, and they would give a perspective as to how they would resolve that anger issue if they could.

Each one of these positive choices is sure to bring some kind of positive result to an otherwise miserable experience.

On the negative side of venting, we have the effects of that venting being deluged upon the “ventee” as we shall so name them. The one listening to all the venting has good intentions, for the most part. They care about the “ventor”, they have compassion and empathy and concern for that individual and for those people in that person’s life that are being impacted by all that venting. The “ventor” is usually one who does all they can to be strong and to not take on the effects of the “ventor”. They realize that all the anger is not about them personally but the fact that they are human does not always protect them from the emotions and spewing of the above-said “ventor.” Even the most highly evolved beings have some kind of impact upon their personhood if they are continually barraged by a swarm of “ventors.” Swarm isn’t the appropriate word, but you get the gist of the idea.

This last paragraph is not stating that the “ventee” should shut down and refuse to listen to someone who reaches out for them in desperation. It is just saying that the “ventee” should prepare themselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually if they are going to choose to be the “lifeline”, so to speak, for those they care about.

Each person, each event all have ways of playing themselves out and yet some “preventative measures” are most helpful in dealing with the end result when it comes to being on either side of the venting issue.

Debate Round No. 1


So. Here we go. Another fully plagiarized piece of text from RationalMadman. This time you didn't even bother to clean it up to make it look like yours. Why would you? Last time you won the debate, even though you copied your post from an irrelevant source and then lied about it.

Which leaves me a few options. Ooh, here's one. I'll just paste the bits from another site that supports my position! But, unlike you, I'll actually reference it.

Here is the source of the text slapped in by RationalMadman:

And here is the source of the rest of this post:

The value of venting is a myth. The theory on which the idea of venting anger is based has been repeatedly disproven since the 1950s.

While it may feel cathartic, venting anger doesn’t purge aggression from your system or improve psychological state. In fact, it’s more likely to increase anger and aggressiveness. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, cautions that venting feels satisfying “because of the seductive nature of anger.”

Why venting anger is a bad idea:
  • A 2001 study by University of Michigan psychology professor and aggression researcher Dr. Brad Bushman concluded that “venting to reduce anger is like using gasoline to put out a fire—it only feeds the flame. By fueling aggressive thoughts and feelings, venting also increases aggressive responding. Venting did not lead to a more positive mood either.”
  • Outbursts of rage pump up the brain’s state of arousal, increasing what Goleman calls emotional flooding.
  • Rumination, the act of focusing on your angry feelings, has been shown to increase angry feelings and increase displaced aggression (lashing out at someone unrelated to the event that provoked the anger).
  • Activities such as punching a pillow or pounding nails – essentially serving as substitute targets – don’t reduce arousal and have been shown to increase hostility. Bushman calls this type of venting the “worst possible advice to give people.”
  • Intense physical activity after provocation is more likely increase anger than reduce it.
  • If the act of venting becomes repeated, it risks becoming a habit – a bad habit. It is, after all, “practicing how to behave aggressively,” says Bushman.

Far better than venting are the following strategies.

  • Do nothing. Yes, you read that right. Nothing. Bushman’s research has found that people who sat quietly for two minutes after the angering event, without being given any particular thing to think about, had the lowest anger and aggression levels.
  • Distract yourself. I’ve been recommending this approach for years. Pull your mind away from dwelling on the angering event by forcing it to do something else entirely, ideally something that you have to focus on – the crossword puzzle in today’s paper, helping your teenager study for a Spanish exam, singing along to your favorite upbeat tunes. Research also supports this approach.
  • When able, look beneath the anger. Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter describes anger “as much a symptom as it is an emotion.” What’s going on for you? What does the anger help you discover about yourself? What can you do to negotiate a resolution to the problem that precipitated the anger?



You have failed to prove I plagiarised only that I happened to accidentally reciprocate and reproduce identical work purely from my own brain from that site. Not my fault. :)

Unfortunately you directly claimed you plagiarised, DIRTY TACTICS!

Here is the reason I prefer (safe) venting to suppression.

It releases the emotion so that the emotion (yes the actual emotion) doesn't feel ignored and won't burst out at unwanted times. If you suppress or try to ignore your anger, depression or horniness, it will indeed keep trying to attack you until you have the decency to at least pay it a little credit.
Debate Round No. 2


Plagiarism and proving it

RatMan, you are confusing plagiarism with something else, perhaps copyright infringement. Plagiarism is copying text from somewhere else without referencing it. I copied text, but I referenced it, see, so it’s not plagiarism. You didn’t cite your source, so it is plagiarism.

In terms of proof, the usual procedure is to place the two passages side by side and compare. There isn’t space to do it here, but your first post consisted of almost 800 words that were identical to the source I cited. Then, the question applied is, would a rational and disinterested person believe that your copying occurred by accident?

Some cases are ambiguous and difficult to prove. This is not such a case.

Venting vs suppression

On a much happier note…for the first time, here are two actual sentences of argument that you’ve written yourself!! I’m so excited.

Ratsy, emotions don’t “feel ignored” because they don’t have feelings, they are feelings that you have. They are not distinct beasts that live inside you and come bursting out if you mistreat them. They will not “keep trying to attack you”.

As was made clear in the passage I copied earlier, acting out emotions is a form of rehearsal and only strengthens them. Ignoring emotions and doing nothing is, over time, the best way to minimise those kind of emotions.

I was surprised to see “horniness” classed as an emotion, but it is actually a classic example of the principle. Sexual activity results in immediate relief from desire (the emotion) in the short term, but will lead to increased incidence of desire in the medium term. In contrast, sexual abstinence usually leads to a reduction in sexual desire.

“Increased sexual activity may increase levels of sex hormones…; conversely…during periods of celibacy, levels may fall reducing libido.”



:) Okay, let me lose the conduct vote for plagiarism. That is okay then. I accept losing 1 point.

I shall now go on to attempt to gain the 3 point arguments' vote and to cancel out your sources vote.

According to this site:

"There is nothing wrong with venting. It is actually a healthy habit but it all comes to the HOW and WHEN we do it."

"As a society I believe we have disregarded the importance of cleansing or detoxifying emotionally. It is importance to recognize that we have a need to do that as well; we have a need to vent."

"Accept and express anger comfortably and indestructibly. First of all it is important to recognize that we all get angry. If you think you don’t, yYou must be repressing it and it will leak in other ways that will also damage your relationships."

Express your needs without destroying love. Most of us like to share with our love ones our frustrations and bad moments. Be sure you don’t hurt the listener by aggressive physical movements, high tone of voice, or bad language. Remember to respect boundaries. You have the need to vent but the other person still has the need to be respected. It is not all about you."

" Learn to stay with your emotions. Venting in a healthy way helps to deal with them. As Miriam Greenspan states in her book Healing Through Dark Emotions, the so-called negative emotions have incredible transformation power. They are there for a reason and it takes skills to learn to listen to them and use them to our benefit."

"In the cases when we aren't prepared for a venting episode, we can still ask ourselves (and possibly the speaker) "What is needed from me in this exchange?" If some feedback is implied in the course of the vent, we can respond to that. If not, we can simply let the vent run its course. In any case, keep in mind that the person is in an emotional state so do not take things personally or literally."

Yay, I plagiarised... BAD ME!... OOOOH! Okay now to expand my arguments after those two nicely summarising quotes.

So in this debate I have definitely conveyed that EVERYONE who FEELS EMOTIONS, has a NEED to release them eventually ore else they will 'leak' somehow due to conscious neglecting of subconscious feeling.

What is my opponent's attempt to refute this? "The value of venting is a myth. The theory on which the idea of venting anger is based has been repeatedly disproved since the 1950s." what evidence does he supply to support this? "venting to reduce anger is like using gasoline to put out a fire" I have never hard such nonsense in my life. We are nothing like fire. If anything venting is like allowing a fart to be released that is bursting to get let out and if you don't it will be released at a very unwanted time. OHHHHHH what a comeback!

I don't even care if I lose, I have been very angry at times and know that unless I punch a pillow or listen to loud music and dance madly to it, I will burst out later on. It's a fact of life we need to vent



Yay I have lost conduct vote. So what? Plagiarism my a$s; look at your round two.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 5 years ago
100% agree with "distract yourself" and "look beneath the anger". "Do nothing" is good short term, but I believe it to be extremely ineffective and quite possibly damaging long term.

100% agree that beating up on a punching bag will not do much besides "distract yourself", except that now you're in the habit of punching things, which is not good and only increases the chance you'll do something violent later. Better to "do nothing".

And CON, plagiarism is an easy one-way ticket to failing a class if you're caught. It can lead to expulsions at college as well. Just don't do it, it takes 10 seconds to source where you got it from.
Posted by RationalMadman 5 years ago
Yes Jdk.
Posted by TheJdk06734 5 years ago
No offense but keeping inside is horrible and can really tear ya up inside so your sister was right.
Posted by miketheman1200 5 years ago

Finished debate, needs voters.
Posted by Paramedic268 5 years ago
All the drama aside, I do support venting. While I do not have my exact source, I have read articles in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) which has indicated that stress can trigger events such as myocardial infarction, cerebral vascular accidents, and a plethora of other medical conditions which can be avoided with proper v stress management. I have had the honor of being an Air Traffic Controller, and a Paramedic so I personally know the effects of stress, and venting always made me feel better. I am to new on this site to vote though, good luck to both of you, and IMHO plagiarizing is not cool.
Posted by RationalMadman 5 years ago
I said SAFE venting -.-
Posted by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
Pros alternative message was more convincing. He convinced me that alternative methods are more therapudic and teaches control of ones emotions. Witch is better than lashing ot and destroying things like the angry grandpa. I however still agree with con but pro made a better case.
Posted by R0b1Billion 5 years ago
Catharsis is well-understood by psychologists to be a bad idea. This is one strong argument for why anger is bad in all circumstances.
Posted by RationalMadman 5 years ago
frozen-eclipse dude, you never even explained your vote!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by baggins 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Simple win for Pro as Con was not sincere in the debate.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct and Sources go to Pro as per Con's plagiarizing in R2. On arguments, I'm not counting Con's arguments from R3 because they were new arguments introduced in the last round which Pro had no way of responding to. I would take away conduct for this but Con already lost it for plagiarizing. So on the arguments that were actually presented, Con's own refutations were little more than conjecture and mis-identification. Con never provided reason to suggest that emotions *must* spring back out after being suppressed, this was merely something he took to be a sort of truism. Furthermore, Con also mis-identified emotions as some entity on their own with feelings of their own; which Pro showed to be faulty by the fact that emotions *were* feelings. It could have been a good debate as Pro's position is certainly not common, though it was unfortunately mostly wasted n this case.
Vote Placed by Muted 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Plagiarizing. However, is Pro's sister above or below a century?
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: My vote did not include my opinion but simply judged each others skills. I would however like to debate and take the con side on this topic because im very well experienced in this topic. I voted for pro because his evidence is more conclusive than cons case, Also pro convinced me that learning to control yourself and finding healthy ways to calm down are better alternatives due to the possibility of chaotic behavior and destruction.