Why “RANTS” Don’t Work

Going on a “rant” never works.

It seems like every day someone on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or some other social media platform vents and calls out a person or group. This almost always backfires and usually does more damage to the person doing the “rant” than to the person being “attacked.” The person doing the “ranting” may feel good after the post for a short period but, long-term, people begin to question the “ranter’s” mental state and stability.

La Croix’s CEO, Nick Caporella, has a history of lashing out at a wide range of people and groups. Two years ago, he went after short-sellers of his company’s stock prices. Everybody who was questioning the stock value was a “perpetrator and self-serving manipulator.” The “rant” was done in all caps, with vast claims of the “best year ever.”  Many financial observers labeled the outbursts bizarre and even bordering on deranged. Stock prices went from $72 a share to $45 a share.

Many times, the “ranter” claims to be a victim and that people are out to get him or take him down. We have all been there.

We are upset, our tempers are flaring, and we do what is almost primeval — we want to strike out and strike back. However, do rants ever really work?  No, they never work. Here are four key steps to take before a “rant” and emotions take over:

  1. Cool Down. In the heat of battle and when emotions are thick is not the best time to go on a “rant.” Give yourself time for emotions to cool and for the day to pass before responding. Saying something or writing something can never be taken back.
  2. Think Productively. Threats are real. There are situations when things may be moving in a direction you may think is harmful or unfair. Think through how a productive and insightful comment can help set the stage or change directions of a conversation. Understanding that words do matter and have an impact is a key start. Make your words productive, not destructive.
  3. Seek Advice. A valued and trusted friend, mentor, or advisor can help you think through options and reasons behind your response or thoughts. A trusted friend can bring a more balanced perspective to the situation and also help you to see and think through the other side’s views and reasons.
  4. Write Carefully. Social media can quickly become destructive in today’s marketplace. The wrong comment, the wrong words, or the wrong video can all destroy a person’s image or reputation in an instant. Once something is sent via social media, it is out there for everyone to see. There are no “do-overs.”

In today’s world, people are looking for accountability in leaders and businesses. Going on a “rant” doesn’t endear people to follow or to trust you. A business’ or person’s reputation takes years to build and nurture and can be destroyed with one careless emotional outburst.

So next time, cool down, think, seek advice and be very, very careful what you put into writing.