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|Have I been talking only about myself for the past hour?|
Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/women-laughing-on-beach-3727658/
I’m back blogging and this is my first post for 2021. I have more than 70 blog post ideas and I write them all down on my notepad when I write my subsequent post, which never happened, as I have been procrastinating a lot on writing, although I know it is one of the best therapy and self-care that has worked well for me in the past years. I do think that coming to the heightened sense of awareness about sharing part of my life and what basically runs in my mind, and presenting these on a public blog for everyone to read can be extremely vulnerable and I was not really comfortable doing that just yet. I think that is also one of the reasons why I created a separate Instagram page for my blog posts, as I wasn’t comfortable or confident enough to brand myself as a blogger to those in my close network.
I also have been listening to podcasts a lot and I stumbled upon The Baggage Reclaim Sessions podcast by Nat Lue (she also has a blog and I coincidentally came across her post on dealing with drainers while browsing articles to understand about Emotional Dumping – a term I just learned today.
I also owe a big shoutout to Andrea from the Booksters Club on Instagram. We connected on Instagram from my business bookish page, International Book Promotion towards the end of last year, together with a bunch of other Instagrammers who read mostly non-fiction. Andrea announced that she is rolling out her coaching business and would like to work with the first 20 clients to get started with it at no cost, and I stepped forward to try it out, although I had the idea of approaching a coach in September 2020 when I fell into the pit of depression again. The idea of opening up to a life coach has always been a little scary but I went ahead with it, and also won a copy of Evan Carmichael’s book ‘Built To Serve’ through Andrea. The last week of the 8-week long session is coming to an end this week and I have to say I learned A LOT about tools that are useful for personal development, and I think what I discovered today that I am sharing in this blog post below is largely due to the ability to raise awareness and identify triggers that I have learned through the “Find Yourself” program. Thank you, Andrea.
So, today I sort of cracked a puzzle and discovered something new about myself, and I wanted to document the whole lot of things that I Googled about. An incident that happened a couple of days ago led me to feel down and I was wanting to have someone to share my disappointments with although deep inside, I wanted to remain silent and process what had just happened. I did call up a friend and even sent messages to people out of anxiety unintentionally, although I knew that was not going to help.
I was upset and mainly because I was not able to understand how to go inside and do the inner work when I clearly knew I needed myself more than anyone else. When I did some self-reflection, I suddenly noticed that this pattern stemmed from when I was a kid. I get restless when there is an issue cropping up in my life, causing a great level of entropy. My busy mind would feed on the issue and get diverted from the main thing that I should be focusing on; be it work or everyday life. I would also be looking forward to sharing what had happened to my friends and possibly ruminate on it for some time before I could detox the thoughts from my mind.
This is also exactly how my downtime escalated into depression last September as I was looking to get in touch with someone for help and nobody was available at that instant. This is also because I live on my own and I cannot meet colleagues in person as I live on my own and run my business from home as well, and most of my work-related interactions happen online (I know that the pandemic has made things worst as well now for many others). When you don’t find anyone to talk to, you think nobody cares about you and you fall into the pit of depression, estrange yourself from people, become emotionally unavailable, and build walls high up!
When I Googled for ideas and possibly articles to shed light on my perplexion, I came across the term ‘emotional dumping‘. As harsh as it seemed at first, I realized that there are instances where when I am overwhelmed by something, I would not even be asking about the wellbeing of those I am conversing with and I will mostly make the conversation about the issue. Confiding in friends and family is a normal human need and I think it is healthy but when we are in control of our thoughts and emotions, we would be narrating the experience in a calmer manner, and not rattling in a chatty and anxious way.
I realized that I am usually very content with my own company when I am not in a troubled state of mind and sometimes only call people to talk about the problem. I felt that it is not wrong since I do not bother them all the time and I used to think that friends in need are friends indeed since I have also lent ears to those who needed my listening ears but I think that it undermines my ability to sit with the thoughts and find the way out. When I reflected deeper, I noticed that I do not get stressed about work and certain other aspects of my life, no matter how stressful it gets because I simply can withstand the stress and believe in my capacity to thrive beyond the challenges presented. Hence, I believe that at instances where I feel the urge to run to people for solace, I might have had a series of failures in the past in handling similar situations, which prompts me to always seek validation.
I think that emotional dumpers are craving for connection and validation (which may not be a good thing) and would love to have someone listen to them or possibly reassure them. Seeking validation may not be a good thing as we cannot expect others to genuinely validate our actions or emotions. We might be running into someone who would dismiss our experience or use our rather disheveled state of mind to gaslight us because we are not in control or content with how we process our thoughts in order to gain a #senseofself.
I have also noticed that in the event there is emotional turbulence, I usually come across people who do not really understand the context of the issue I am facing, and I would usually end up draining my energy in explaining myself, as it is almost impossible to explain the underlying reasons as to why I feel how I feel. You may have encountered an issue with a friend who had passed me inconsiderate comments on a sensitive topic and when you share that incident with another person, you may get feedback like “it’s okay, maybe you should not take it personally”, and you go like “why are you not understanding what I feel” and “oh, you don’t get it”. You cannot possibly put everything into words as there are deep underlying issues that only you know exist. The real catch here is that probably the listener has not understood how emotionally scarring the incident is towards yourself, and possibly your past experience with abusers triggers you easily. When there are a huge depth and breadth to emotions and experiences, it is usually not possible to be communicated from a surface level.
Emotional dumpers are also people who like to analyze situations and like to solve issues and talk to others when they do not have solutions at hand. But it is not a good idea when those listening do not give the rightly fitting advice (this is why it is better to consult professional help). Only you have the solution to figure things out best and the way is to go inside and do the inner work. Also, when you talk about issues in the hope that others would be able to provide you solutions, you are not strengthening your #senseofself and gut feelings. Talking about the issues also multiplies its power, and you go deep into the spiral of vicious cycle. One of the worst implications of emotional dumping is that you attract toxic people masquerading as listeners. People who are not genuinely interested in helping you but wanting to seek pleasure with your struggles would pretend to be helping you out when they are not.
I have been journalling from day 1 of 2021 until today and it has been extremely liberating and helps process thoughts better. Googling and reading a lot on the issues plaguing us can definitely open us to a wide array of new information that could help formulate actionable steps for healing. We can also channel the need to analyze things into activities like blogging/vlogging as this can empower ourselves and others. Neuroplasticity is a field that helps a lot to train your mind to send new information when faced with similar triggers, and this can be done by building new habits and holding on to different counter-reactions when you face similar triggers.
What do you think about this post? I welcome your thoughts and views!
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