Venting vs. Dumping: How to Communicate like a Grown Up.

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
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Social Editor: Travis May

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Judith Orloff

Judith Orloff, MD is the author of  The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. In the book she educates readers about empaths, highly sensitive people, and offers strategies for anyone who wants to avoid narcissists and transform difficult emotions to positive ones. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist and an empath who combines the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly highly sensitive people. She is a New York Times best-selling author of  Emotional Freedom, Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing, The Power of Surrender, and Second Sight. Connect with Judith on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff’s books and workshop schedule, visit her website. Republished with explicit written permission from the author. Join her empath Facebook community for sensitive souls here.

Read more from Judith here.