Identifying the Fine Line Between Venting and Dumping

When looking for clarity in relationships & to communicate maturely, it is imperative to acknowledge and identify the difference between venting & dumping.

While we all have the urge to have a vent sesh with our friends or partners, there is a very fine line between venting and dumping your emotional baggage onto the other person which needs to be acknowledged.

Dear Reader – Martin Pollecoff

Everyone gets upset or frustrated at times and communication is vital when it comes to expressing these intense emotions. But there are healthy and unhealthy ways to express these feelings. While venting is the way about it, many people cross the fine line between venting and dumping. You need to appreciate the people in your life who are willing to listen to you so it is imperative to respect their time and their feelings. No matter how much you may need to talk about what you are going through if a friend is not in the right headspace, the last thing they need or want is to hear about your problems.

A person dumping talks about themselves and their issues, without stopping to consider what the other person is feeling. In some cases, they might even get angry if you aren’t available to listen or paying attention, even if you are in the middle of something important.

Signs differentiating venting and dumping


  • Is time-limited
  • Focused on one topic
  • Doesn’t keep repeating the same topic
  • No blaming
  • No victimizing
  • Feels healthy
  • Shows accountability for their part in the issue
  • Open to solutions after expressing yourself


  • Feels toxic
  • Overwhelms you with many issues
  • Keeps repeating the same thing
  • Blames others
  • In victim mode
  • Neverending
  • No accountability for their part in the issue
  • Not open to solutions

Knowing the difference between venting and dumping is an integral part of seeking clarity in relationships.

Dumping, also known as toxic venting, often feels like ‘character assassination’. Whether you are the one listening or venting about someone, the other person is often portrayed as the ‘villain’ of the story. The sole purpose of dumping/ toxic venting is just targeted rage and does not provide room for the person venting to reflect on their mistakes or consider the possibility that they might be in the wrong. A person involved in this type of venting is not looking for advice or solutions to their problems instead they are just trying to dump their negative emotions onto the other person and complain constantly without being considerate of the people hearing them out.

People dumping like this instead of venting usually aren’t uncaring or narcissistic, they are just caught up in their own emotions and pain so much that they become completely unaware of how their behaviour is impacting the person they are dumping their emotional baggage on. This sort of behaviour may also arise when the dumper comes from a family where boundaries are not respected, so they never learned how to acknowledge or set them.

If someone starts dumping on you instead of venting, it’s important to remember that you can excuse yourself and say, ‘I can talk to you when you are calmer.’ Learning to set these boundaries, especially if you are feeling sensitive, is an important form of self-care. Learn to protect yourself.

About Us:

Runway Pakistan is a complete solution provider for all your marketing communications-related requirements. The ultimate hub of infotainment – Runway composes of all the key offerings – Monthly Print Magazine, Digital Magazine, Media Production, Creative Agency, PR Agency, and Marketing Consultancy that a brand needs to be seen, heard, and known!

Like and follow our Facebook page:
Runway Pakistan

Read our previous article:
Food Bloggers that are Dominating 2021