The Art of Ranting

A lame guide with some underlying insights because we take everything for granted.

Esther Teo
4 min readMay 11, 2020


I have this thing with a friend where we use a template for ranting. And I feel like people could adopt this, funny and ridiculous as it sounds.

PSA: I want to state that ranting (to someone) shouldn’t be a fall-back habit. And it shouldn’t come with expectation that the person have to be there to hear you rant whenever.

I know this post sounds really stupid. But I think we often take other people’s presence for granted and we feed negative emotions to others as and when we like and we keep no boundaries, especially with close friends.

Why rant?

“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” ― Sigmund Freud

I don’t believe in blind positivity. And obviously no one’s a saint, as much as one might try. Be it an annoying coworker, a random stranger who was extremely rude, or just witnessing something that you deem as ridiculous– if you’re human, you have negative emotions, and if you remember the physics lessons, energy cannot be created or destroyed, but changes form.

Ok, I’m going off the radar here but the idea is if expressing your emotions helps, then do it. If you can digest it yourself, great. If not, find help. 🤙

“Why can’t you just write it down in private?”

You can, and you could. And you probably should.

But having another opinion or just someone to digest negative emotions with is a blessing (not an assumed). After all, we’re social animals.

1. State Intention

I think a lot of the times we forget, in the midst of our own anger and annoyance (and even sadness), to consider the other party’s mood and situation. We can’t expect people (even the closest of friends, family member, or partner) to be there for us 24/7 to take in our negativity– we’re individuals and we have our own lives and issues to deal with after all.

My friend and I usually start the message with /RANT/ so that the other party knows that it’s not an urgent (or important) message. It allows us to consider if we want to, or have the time to go through this when we receive it.

2. The Story

Obviously when we’re ranting, we need to include the background story – what happened, and what led us to feel how we feel.

Writing does two things – thought-organising and turn the intangible thoughts tangible. If you live in your head, you will keep looping around the same storyline, and it will never end. Putting it in words allows you to organise your thoughts in an understandable manner and put an end to the indefinite loop.

Analysing the feelings and the reasons behind it is usually something we try to do. Not always though, sometimes we just like ranting for the sake of ranting. *shrugs-emoticon*

3. State Expectation(s)

3. State Expectation(s)

I think this is the part where people would be thinking, “What? You really have a template don’t you?”

Erm, yes.

You see, sometimes we don’t know what to say to someone’s story. I mean it’s just a story, not a question after all– we are required to think of the question (subconsciously) in order to have a reply.

Either that or we reply with half-hearted comments or with comments that the person didn’t necessarily ask for or wants to hear. Definitely helps if the other party tells you what they are expecting (or not) from you.

Sometimes I end the message with “Ok, I know I’m thinking too much about this but it just feels too overpowering to keep it in. No response necessary. 😬”

Always remember if you’re involving someone else, consider their ability to take in your negative mood. And be prepared to hear things you don’t want to hear too, even if it’s not part of your expectations. And lastly, don’t make ranting a habit.



Esther Teo

Human. Designer. Feels a lot. Thinks a lot. Writes sometime.