When you’re the emotional dumping ground

Posted by witsend000 @witsend000, Jun 16, 2022

I realized something today. I’m the emotion/stress dumping ground for pretty much everyone I’m close to…..
and have been my whole life.

It seems that every time I’m around others, they pour out their stresses and emotional baggage on me. Now I could look at it this way: I must be easy to talk to or a good listener if others feel that they can talk to me about what’s bothering them. And, sometimes I do look at it that way.
But what do you do when you’ve become an overflowing garbage dump with all of your own personal garbage buried somewhere in the mix? What do you do with the mountain? I’ve always just ate it…but I’ve found I can’t anymore…I’ve become physically sick…and now I’ve developed the need to vomit it out somewhere. But I can’t dump my garage in someone else’s backyard. So what do I do?…..

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@witsend000 Many of us can relate to this, no doubt.

Often I have heard "you're easy to talk to" or "I'm glad to find someone who listens to me". And you're right. It can give us a sense of helping others, But sometimes we get to the point where it weighs on our minds and emotions. For me, I had to work hard at separating the woes and troubles of others, and not take it on myself. That's hard to do, because we want to feel wanted, right? So over time, I started responding to people by offering them methods to help themselves, mirroring back to them what they said, so a different part of their brain hears the same things they were saying. At times these people take the ideas and run with them, later thanking me, or not.

Frankly, some people just want to vent, and not take the next step to help themselves. That is frustrating for me, because it is not what I try to do. I may speak to someone about something bothering me, but it is usually because I want someone else's opinion on how to proceed. And again, seeing my issue on paper, or hearing my words lets my brain look at my issue in different ways.

How about gently reminding them they may need to get professional help [emphasis on professional], as it is way beyond your wheelhouse of ability? If they are very close to you, remind them that you have your own things you are dealing with, and cannot take on more, in a gentle loving way. Offer them examples of what you have done for yourself [journaling, self-help books, 12-step groups, faith sources, professional assistance] and suggest they try that. Do you think that might help?


Hi Ginger, thanks for reading.

It might help. I have tried some of the things you said. I suggest solutions all the time; trying to turn negative talk into a possible solution or at least a positive spin. I try my best to be calm and gentle in the way I say it. Most of the people I know are sensitive to what someone says to them and how they say it, and can take it in a negative way. Maybe I don’t do it correctly….?

I’m sure the reason it weighs on me so is within myself. I’ve been told that I internalize things. I know I do, but somehow I can’t not do that. I have muscle knots head literally head to toe. My husband finds them all the time. I’m sure it’s from stress. I just don’t know how to not take things onto my shoulders…I don’t know how to not worry.

How do people relax? How do they turn there brain off from stress over other peoples problems or even their own?

Thanks for any suggestions


Thank you all for the suggestions and hugs. I really appreciate it

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