Is it just me or does the weight of constantly working at saying the right thing in the right way at the right time in the right tone while tempering my emotions get to be the most frustrating thing on the planet?

I mean I am committed folks, I truly am. I am committed to creating deeper relationships, honing my leadership skills, hosting courageous conversations and keeping peace in the family and my friendships, but sometimes a Sistah just needs to vent. Is it just me?

I know that as an African American and as a woman I am often asked to get and keep my emotions in check. “You don’t want to be labeled as the angry Black woman” is what I’m told way too often. Or as a woman leader, “you don’t want to be seen as too sensitive or emotional.” Silly rules that other people expect me to live by.

I’m sorry, but venting is part of my self-care, because there is way too much to be angry, frustrated and freakin’ emotional about these days and if I am going to carry on using these conflict resolution skills to the best of my ability with every chance I can, I need to tell somebody what I’m really thinking in some of those moments.

Now, at this point, if I cannot get an Amen from somebody reading this then there is just no honesty left in this world.

You know what I’m talking about. How many times can your co-worker, boss, child, spouse, significant other, friend, sibling, parent, neighbor or the president get on your last nerve before you need to simply tell somebody just how much you want to scream???

That’s why you need venting partners. I mean people you can make a pact with that when you need them, you get to pick up the phone or text (that’s not as good though) and scream and cuss, make up your own cuss words, name-call and tell them exactly what you wish you could do, but know that you won’t because you have these skills and you know better. Your venting partners have to agree to just listen and not try to talk you down or list all the merits of the other person or the consequences if you did all those things. You already know all that. Right now you just need to vent!

I have those people in my life so I know a little something that I can pass on to those of you who need to do a little self-care venting too.

  1. Make sure you’re not venting at the person you are fed up with. There’s time to shape your message to them later, after you’ve vented.
  2. Don’t hold back, let it fly. Your venting partner has to be someone who you can be perfectly safe with to say what you are feeling in the moment.
  3. Don’t worry after, love yourself enough to understand that you may say some things that shock and surprise you and that’s okay (unless you are really going to do something harmful then you are going to need to get some serious help for that.) But for the most part, you are just venting.
  4. Release it all and then get ready to laugh. In fact, if you have great venting partners like I do, they will play back your words to make you laugh. It’s an awesome experience.
  5. Make sure you are there for them in return.

I can tell you that I have turned venting into a fine art and I feel much better because of it. The only thing I am waiting for right now is for the declaration of A National Venting Day when we all get to open our windows or run outside and let out what we are really feeling in one collective scream before we go back to creating world peace.

Ahhhhhhhhh. I feel better now. How about you?

In addition, take the Leadership Assessment Quiz here to find out how healthy or unhealthy your team is.

Also, I am talking about Conflict, Wellness, Wealth and Wisdom today. This is the first summit to feature 30 Women of Color experts. Register for free HERE.

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