We all get upset and frustrated at times.
And communication is vital when it comes to expressing anger or other intense emotions. But, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to express these feelings.
Knowing the difference between “venting” and “dumping” is a positive place to start when looking for clarity in our relationships. It’s especially important for empaths and sensitive people to be aware of the difference between venting and dumping, as the latter can negatively impact our sense of self-worth.
Venting is a healthier way of expressing our anger, while dumping can often lead to overwhelm and trauma.
Here are some guidelines from my book, The Empath’s Survival Guide, that we can look to when we, or others close to us, need to communicate their anger or frustration:
As a psychiatrist and empath myself, I have a hard time tolerating loud noises. So, for the sake of self-care, I have a “no yelling” rule in my house.
We can each use these guidelines to create our own communication rules. If, for example, our spouse needs to vent, we can ask him or her to say, “I have a request. I need to vent about an issue. Is that okay to do now?” This gives us some warning, so we don’t feel like our time or feelings have been hijacked. Then, it becomes our choice to discuss the issue right away or later on, when we have adequate time and feel more centered.
If someone starts dumping on us, it’s important to remember that we can excuse ourselves and say, “I can talk to you when you are calmer.”
Learning to set these boundaries, especially if we are feeling sensitive, is an important form of self-care.
Adapted from The Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff, MD
Author: Judith Orloff, M.D.
Image: Guian Bolisay/Flickr
Editor: Nicole Cameron
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