Is venting considered detraction?

what constitutes venting or detraction? vs talking about a problem or getting consolation?

for example, if my best friend calls me to ask how my day was and I had gotten in to a fight with my mom and she said some really horrible things, am I venting or detracting by telling her? I mean, she can’t necessarily help by solving my problem, she usually just offers to pray

I know we aren’t supposed to reveal other faults or failings without an objectively good reason but I just still dont’ know what those reasons might be. is me feeling hurt nad upset a good enough reason? am I just being too self-centered? should we even be getting upset when people are mean to us?

I don’t have any answers but this is such a good question that I was pondering upon today.

This isn’t foolproof, but my rule of thumb is that unless the person you’re telling can do something to help the situation, it’s usually detraction.

so I can’t tell a soul about my problems with my home life?

because no one can really do anything about that

Nonsense. A psychiatrist or therapist could help you. A mentor could help you. Members of a support group could help you.

I really don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers about that kind of stuff. and mmy friend is more like a mentor, I suppose, she is an elderly lady from church

so we can only talk to therapists?

I’m trying to figure out where the line is.

An elderly lady from church can certainly fill the role of mentor, particularly if she doesn’t communicate with the other members of your household, so there is minimal damage to anyone’s reputation.

that’s what I was wondering about.

and she will talk about things in her life to me too sometimes. she has problems with her husband and daughter too and wants advice.

not just to complain, it’s more for consolation, prayers, or constructive ways to feel better and be more encouraged, that’s how our exchanges are

I guess I’m just still fuzzy on the lines between venting and detraction or complaining and actually confiding

This thinking that “venting equals detraction” is an example of how Catholics can wrongfully see sin everywhere, and fixates on sin. The concept that, for example, “we must never speak ill of someone unless the person can do something about it” reduces people to robots who are never allowed an emotional vent, just as it never takes into account that maybe we don’t know who can help us until we talk to them.

Don’t be scrupulous, Angel, and don’t worry about this stuff.

Does one person’s need for an “emotional vent” trump their obligation to not gossip about others? Surely one can find a way to vent that doesn’t damage the reputation of others and cause unnecessary drama?

Overall, I agree with this.

This is actually quite a difficult question, which sometimes puzzles me too.

On the one hand it seems as if our nature is made to “vent” at times. As you say, we are not robots. On the other hand, I see people often going into detraction and gossip, under the guise of venting, or seeking counsel. I’ve done it myself.

Allegra, I can turn your question around and ask: does a person’s right to a good reputation, whether earned or not, entitle them to make me never speak of them in less than glowing terms?

If my ex-business partner is a lying thief, am I suddenly obligated (and that’s the word you used) to never tell someone who’s contemplating a business deal with him, about him? After all, my ex-partner’s next victim can’t help me, can they?

Yet, the fact remains…as we always say…
A stranger is FAR easier to talk to, especially in a professional capacity than **a friend who can’t really help you. **Vent if you must, but you HAVE to see a counselor. I know the college has them,
Since you refuse to talk to a priest, go to one of them,

It’s not going to get better until you do.

In that case, you would be helping the person you are talking to.

So, it wouldn’t be “venting”.

Most people’s definition of “venting” is complaining about a person or situation for the sole purpose of getting off their chest.


Angel needs to take action to resolve or help her come to terms with her home situation. Venting isn’t going to do a thing.
She vents here all the time.
True, IRL friends are more sympathetic, but from a long time posting history, this is something that requires personal counseling.

Talk with your Priest in confession - he can direct you regarding what is sin or not sin here.

As to the principle - one has to judge if one has an objectively valid reason -and if the particular friend is really the person to be talking to about it (will they just tell others…are they the one to seek advice from… etc etc).

Consolation and advice can be potentially good reasons - but one must judge.

I don’t “refuse” to talk to a priest

that’s not even what I’m asking.

I just simply wanted to know what is considered venting or complaining and what isn’t and whether or not that falls in to the category of detraction

that’s what I’m trying to figure out.

what’s venting or confiding and what’s actually gossip

can you give me some examples?

what does gossip under the guise of venting even mean?

It’s always the same. If you would ask a priest in real life about all these family issues, you might have a chance to resolve them.its been almost three years that CAF posters have suggested a priest.
You have every excuse.
Sounds like refusal to me, sorry. It’s always the same. Is this bad is this ok. At some point you’ll have to get a counselor a mentor ir a spiritual director.
I have no idea why you won’t seek appropriate help.
I know full what you are asking.
And you know full well what and who is the problem.
You’re always in our prayers. One day I hope to hear that you’ve taken steps.

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