Purging, venting, otherwise known as … just plain getting it out, is something both men and women need to do. We humans tend to have feelings that now and then get bottlenecked within us. Whether they are feelings of anger, frustration, or hopelessness, we experience a traffic jam of emotion – a gridlock – that needs a chance to free itself. To get the traffic of feelings flowing again, sometimes we just need to vent.
Granted, women tend to vent more easily than men. Men often get quiet and look inside themselves to try to fix their problem, and therefore hold onto feelings longer than women. That’s why when a woman starts to unload on a man, his first response is often to give advice – that’s what he usually does for himself, so why not her? Because venting and advice are like oil and water. They don’t mix. As soon as a woman starts to unload, the best gift the man can do is take his “fix-it” hat off and just allow her to purge. Yes, it’s okay to insert questions once in awhile to show he is listening, but basically the guy is off the hook to solve anything. The only thing left for him to do is ask one question: “Would a hug help?”