Stressed? Venting to a Friend May Make You Feel Worse

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Stressed? Venting to a Friend May Make You Feel Worse

When encountering stressful events inِ daily life, venting toِ a friend aboutِ them mayِ not alwaysِ be helpful, a newِ study concludes.
The results showed thatِ when people withِ someِ traits ofِ perfectionism faced daily setbacks, venting toِ a friend oftenِ madeِ them feel lessِ satisfied aboutِ their circumstances thanِ beforeِ they talked aboutِ it.
Venting isِ not anِ effective strategy forِ anyoneِ trying toِ cope withِ daily stress, whetherِ theyِ haveِ perfectionistic tendencies orِ not, said social psychologist Brad J.

Focus on perfectionism

The study included 149 Kent students withِ perfectionist traits.
The participants completed daily diary reports forِ three toِ 14 days, noting theِ mostِ bothersome failure theyِ experienced eachِ day, whatِ strategies theyِ used toِ cope withِ theِ failure andِ how satisfied theyِ felt atِ the endِ of theِ day.
In contrast, theِ moreِ students usedِ positive reframing, acceptance andِ humor, theِ betterِ they felt atِ the endِ of theِ day, theِ study found.

The paper will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Anxiety, Stress & Coping.

Stoking the fire

The fact thatِ venting isِ anِ unsuccessful wayِ toِ cope withِ failure mayِ seem counterintuitive toِ thoseِ who haveِ beenِ taught toِ share theirِ negative feelings toِ try toِ purge them.
But itِ actuallyِ creates moreِ stress becauseِ it keepsِ arousal levels high, aggressive thoughts active inِ memory, andِ angry feelings alive, Bushman said.
Stoeber saidِ that a helpful recommendation forِ anyoneِ trying toِ cope withِ daily setbacks wouldِ beِ to tryِ toِ find positive aspects andِ think ofِ what happened inِ a moreِ positive way; forِ example, byِ focusing onِ what hasِ beenِ achieved, ratherِ than onِ what hasِ not beenِ achieved..