When people feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders, they may decide it is best to get whatever is bugging them off their chest. While they are sure to find this cathartic, those who have to listen typically view this action as complaining and nothing more. What they may not realize is venting can be bad for both the complainer and the listener.
For instance, past research from the University of Missouri, which was published in the journal "Developmental Psychology," revealed that the same teenage girls who vent about their crushes, popularity and other topics that bother them are also at risk of developing depression and anxiety.
However, teenage girls are not the only ones who can be negatively affected by complaining, as Inc. reported that listening to someone vent can also harm people's intelligence. The news source spoke to Trevor Blake, author of "Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life," which highlights past research on the subject.
"The brain works more like a muscle than we thought," Blake said. "So if you're pinned in a corner for too long listening to someone being negative, you're more likely to behave that way as well."
According to the research contained in Blake's book, exposure to at least 30 minutes of negativity takes neurons away from the brain's hippocampus. This effect is not confined to in-person interactions alone, as just hearing people vent on television has the potential to make people less intelligent.
Based on this information, individuals who know their fair share of chronic complainers may want to take an IQ test and see if all the venting they put up with has had an effect on their cognitive abilities.