Venting after a bad day at work may feel relieving, but if you find yourself or someone else doing this, without having any consideration for another person’s emotional state or feelings, you are clearly indulging in emotional dumping. It could also be that you are the victim!
In a recent Instagram post, Dr Nicole LePera, popularly known as the holistic psychologist, speaks more about emotional dumping. Here’s what she writes, “
Emotional dumping is an incredibly common (often addictive) pattern of re-living a past emotional experience in the present. Usually, most people aren’t conscious of the reality that they’re doing this. They’re actually seeking connection.”
Being emotionally dumped can feel excessively frustrating and drain your energy. It can also make you feel helpless, because there usually isn’t much you can do. That’s because you want to be there for someone, but it also wears you down. You may want to run away, or in some cases, your body may feel tense.
“This is because emotional dumping isn’t solution-seeking. Authentic connection involves emotional intimacy, not chronic complaining,” she adds.
Dr Nicole says that the best way to deal with it is to place boundaries around emotional dumping to protect our own energy, and emotional state. Here are a few things you can say, if you are being emotionally dumped:
1. “I can definitely understand why this is so upsetting. It sounds like this is continuing to happen and honestly, I’m not in a good emotional space to be a soundboard right now. I’ve got a lot going on.”
2. “I really care about you a lot and hearing about this situation makes me feel helpless. Is there a way we can find a solution? If not, I can’t really continue this conversation right now.”
3. “I notice a majority of our conversations revolve around this issue. Could we maybe talk about something else we are both more interested in or connected to?.”
On the other hand, when you vent, the listener supports another person through his responses, shows empathy, and actively listens. While venting, the person is aware of the listener’s emotional state. The conversation is rather self-reflective than reactive. It also seeks solutions and honest feedback.
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