Picture this: you're pumped to start your work day with a cup of coffee, when you see that your jerk co-worker has left the break room in shambles: grounds everywhere, dish soap oozing on the counter, half-opened sugar packets on the floor by the trash.
So frustrating. And if you're like most of us, the first thing you want to do is blow off steam. You don't really want to get the person fired for sugar packet litter, or even have some kind of awkward conflict resolution conversation about it, but it's inconsiderate. And you need to vent.
We think of venting as a transfer of heat; as "blowing off steam," meaning anger, which would otherwise stay inside, creating pressure which could cause us to explode at an inopportune moment. Venting is different than complaining, which means voicing a concern with the goal of changing something or addressing the cause of the problem.
You can get a kind of warped satisfaction from talking about being angry without necessarily wanting to change the circumstances that trigger that emotion. But research suggests that venting anger doesn't get rid of it. Instead, it amplifies those negative feelings.
There are some obvious downsides to showing your anger in this way -- some studies suggest that angry people tend to be at greater risk for heart disease. But besides the larger health risks, fuming employees can corrode a workplace environment.
即便如此，发泄怒火仍然是职场上的家常便饭。美国弗吉尼亚大学达顿商学院（University of Virginia's Darden School of Business）工商管理学教授克里斯汀??贝法尔说，平均每位员工每天发火或者目睹同事发火的次数可达四次。“大部分研究都只局限在证明发泄怒火的负面效应，而没有作更深入的研究。这些研究并没有关注听众的行为。”贝法尔和她的同事进行了一项研究，力图寻找最佳方法来减轻发泄怒火所带来的破坏性影响，目前该研究正处于归纳总结阶段。
Even so, venting is an office staple. The average employee either vents or hears someone else vent about four times a day, according to Kristin Behfar, a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. "Most papers on venting find that it's negative, but they stop there. They don't find what the listener does," Behfar says. So she and her colleagues worked on a study, currently under review, that looks at the best way to mitigate the damaging effects of venting.
研究人员发现，听众最糟糕的行为就是对怒火中烧的同事表示认同。“一旦助长了别人的怒火，它就会燃烧得更长久，”俄亥俄州立大学传播学院（Ohio State University's School of Communication）研究“愤怒情绪”的专家布拉德??布西曼说。“听众一旦表示认同，发泄者的愤怒情绪就会持续，但解决问题的关键却在于熄灭怒火。”
The worst thing a listener can do, the researchers found, is agree with an angry co-worker. "When you feed the flame, it burns longer," says Brad Bushman, an anger expert at Ohio State University's School of Communication. "Listeners who agree are just keeping angry feelings alive when the key is to let them die."
Listeners can diffuse destructive venting, but it can be difficult to do at work. First off, a small percentage of employees probably enjoy venting for the sake of it and may not care about the consequences, Behfar says. In that case, there's little a listener can do.
2011-11-21 10:39 编辑：kuaileyingyu