I compared similar things being said to a close friend (i.e. behind someone's back) vs to their face because that's what we were talking about, I thought. Like members have said previously, things like calling people "parasites" or saying "you're not being a good friend", to someone's face.
Not whether venting is harmless (again I agree, it's not, although I think we strongly disagree on the magnitude of the "harm") or whether venting should be restricted to private situations with close friends (again, I agree).
B) I don't see your "ingredients" 2-4 as being necessary at all for something to be venting. More of side benefits or partial reasons. For me almost the entire purpose (and benefit) of venting is to get emotions and anger out from rattling around in my brain and making me irrational. As a result I'm likely to increase my capacity for dealing politely with the person I'm venting about.
You don't actually sound like you're talking about venting at all. You sound like you're talking about talking things through seriously with a friend (for help making decisions), which is very different emotionally, at least for me.