SOCIAL E-VENT: New group bonds over shared anger

Eric Benjamin, Agnes Mburu, and venue owner Kylon Page. [submitted]

Whether you hit the weights, chat with a therapist or pour a neat glass of Cabernet, we find ways to ease our anger. It’s an emotion we all deal with — assuming you’re not a robot. 

Saturday marked the start of a monthly event in Maricopa that gives people a new way to air grievances and release frustration. 

Agnes Mburu held the first Vent Night over the weekend at KP’s Place, a venue at the Stage Stop Plaza. The name sums up its purpose — Maricopa residents can attend to vent about anything and everything. 

“We are creating space for the community to come out and express themselves in a safe, non-judgement environment,” Mburu said. 

KP’s Place. [submitted]
Five people attended Vent Night Saturday, which kicked off when Eric Benjamin recited his spoken word poem “Reconstruction.” Attendees then talked to each other about the stresses of life. 

“We also include smash therapy and have activities to help those that aren’t the best at verbal expression,” Mburu said. 

She’ll continue to host Vent Night at 5 p.m. on the last Saturday of every month. The next event is slated for Oct. 28. 

Does venting help? 

There is a dark side to venting, according to a scientific publication by the University of California, Berkely. 

Researchers at the university say hitting soft objects to release pent-up feelings can make anger worse.  

“Encouraging people to act out their anger makes them relive it in their bodies, strengthening the neural pathways for anger and making it easier to get angry the next time around,” says Jille Suttie, a doctor of psychology. 

According to clinical studies by the American Psychological Association, venting anger verbally is generally unhelpful. Researchers there call venting to treat anger “pseudopsychology.” 

But not all venting is bad. Suttie recommends prudence when choosing who to vent to and when. According to Psychology Today, venting to a friend only decreases long-term anger if your friend offers resolution regarding the source of your distress.