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E-Venting Can Make You Angrier

From the Show: HER
Summary: After writing an angry email, you may want to consider cooling off before pressing send.
Air Date: 8/27/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Brad Bushman, PhD
Brad Bushman Brad J. Bushman (Ph.D. 1989, University of Missouri) is a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, and a professor of communication science at the VU University Amsterdam.

He holds the Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication. For over 25 years he has studied the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence. He is a member of President Obama's committee on gun violence, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on the topic of youth violence.

He has published over 175 peer-reviewed journal articles. According to Google Scholar, his articles have been cited over 25,000 times. He is ranked #2 among communication scholars cited in Google Scholar.

In 2014 he received the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology and Technology from the American Psychological Association. His research has challenged several myths (e.g., violent media have a trivial effect on aggression, venting anger reduces aggression, violent people suffer from low self-esteem, violence and sex sell products, warning labels reduce audience size). (One of his colleagues even calls him the "myth buster.") His research has been published in the top scientific journals (e.g., Science, PNAS), and has been featured extensively in the mass media (e.g., BBC, New York Times, NPR).
E-Venting Can Make You Angrier
It might have happened to you more than once... you're feeling unappreciated for a task at work, or your partner forgot to take out the trash again, or your friend just canceled an important dinner with you at the last minute.

You feel the anger start to seep in, and your head is getting ready to explode.

Whatever you do, don't "e-vent," which is sending an angry text, email, or sharing your anger via social media platforms.

Even though you may think that venting is healthy for you, it can actually make your anger worse.

For example, instead of learning to move on and get past your anger, writing an angry text or email keeps you focused on your anger for a lot longer than you should allow it.

Also, since people typically can't hear the tone of your voice, you may sound even angrier.

If venting doesn't reduce anger, what does?

Brad Bushman, PhD, shares why e-venting can actually make you angrier and what you can do instead of venting to cool off.
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