* This article is shared by Julie White from It’s a Beautiful Crazy Blog *
If you are anything like me, we tend to become easily consumed by finding solutions to our own problems. Sometimes though, in our quest for peace and resolution, the most convenient way for us to cope is to dump our issues onto anyone who will listen. While unloading on others might help us feel better, doing so might not be in the best interest of the people around us.
In this article, we are going to discuss six signs that you are dumping your problems onto other people, explain the dangers of doing so and finally, offer some suggestions for resolution.
In my younger life, I was a dumper. No matter what the problem was, i.e. boyfriend issues, friend drama, family problems, work-related anxiety, etc.
If something bothered me, I needed to talk about it.
I don’t think I realized just how much I was talking and I pushed a lot of people away because of it.
With some of those people, I probably did myself a favor, but with others, I think I missed out on some really great friendships.
Little by little, I would overhear my ‘friends’ talk about how they felt like they were my personal psychologist or that they would never talk about themselves as much as I did.
Hearing that stuff really hurt. I didn’t mean to push my problems on everyone else. In my mind, I was trying to have other people help me come up with a solution to my current dilemma.
I was desperate to fix what I thought was broken.
I don’t necessarily think that dumping is a character flaw. Rather, a method of coping with our problems.
Some of the biggest dumpers have some of the biggest hearts.
Dumpers tend to be fixers who care about a lot and want to find solutions for everything.
They are the type of people who also crave interaction and acceptance from others.
It’s in our human nature to seek comfort from others.
Confiding in our loved ones is perfectly acceptable and healthy.
But when your issues become the focal point of every conversation, however, it might be time to evaluate your perspective and learn some new ways of coping.
Think about how you are currently handling some of your struggles.
If you think you might be unloading your problems onto other people, you might need to slow down, reflect and learn how to become your own best listener.
If you aren’t sure if you are guilty of dumping, read below to learn about some of the warning signs.
The signs you might be dumping your problems on other people:
- You invite a friend or an acquaintance to meet up with you, just so you can have the opportunity to talk about your problem.
- You offer to listen to your friends’ problems to make you feel better about making them listen to yours. Kind of the ‘you listened to me, so I guess I can listen to you’ mentality.
- When you listen to others, you are looking for an opportunity to change the conversation back to being about you.
- You sit and hope that someone asks you about how you are doing, just so you have ‘permission’ to talk about your problem.
- You think everyone cares about your problem as much as you do and wants you to keep talking about it.
- Your friends seem to not want to be around you as much and you are hearing from them less often.
I think everyone does a few of these from time to time; it’s called survival.
As I mentioned earlier, having a friend to talk to about something that is bothering you is perfectly okay.
Where these signs can indicate a problem, is when some or all of them become part of your everyday behavior.
The dangers of dumping your problems on other people:
While you are desperately seeking to resolve your crisis, you are not only making the problem into a huge deal, but you could also be creating more problems for yourself in the process.
- As mentioned before, your dumping can end up pushing away friends and family. Potentially, you could find yourself feeling alone and isolated.
- In your desperation to have someone listen to you, you might find yourself settling for friendships with some toxic people that you normally wouldn’t want to have so close to you.
- Dwelling on problems can lead to depression and anxiety. Pay attention to how thinking about stressful situations makes you feel.
- Frequent dumping makes you look weak and that you like to complain. While worrying about what others think shouldn’t be a priority, you also need to be careful about coming across to people as a whiner. People are attracted to positive people and tend to shy away from people who are miserable.
A few possible solutions to you
One of the biggest reasons we dump is because of how we see the problem.
We think our problem is so huge and probably a lot bigger than it actually is.
We also might be a little embarrassed by the way our issues might make us look. By talking to others, we try to find a little self-acceptance and affirmation of our own self-worth.
Disclaimer: The solutions below are not intended to solve all of life’s problems (that would be pretty amazing if I could do that though).
They are designed to help you come up with methods for dealing with your problems and changing your perspective.
1. Write about the problem in a journal and come up with a ‘what is the worst that could happen’ scenario.
In all actuality, the worst-case scenario might actually not seem that bad. If you can handle the worst possible thing that could happen, then you can handle anything.
2. Talk to someone that cannot abandon you such as a therapist or psychologist.
They are ‘listeners’ that have to listen to you because it is their job. They also might be able to help you come up with a few workable solutions.
3. Control the controllables.
Your problem might be something that is completely out of your hands. If you cannot control it, what is the point of obsessing over it?
Obsessing won’t help and you will continue to feel anxious and overwhelmed.
Identify what you can control and let go of what you can’t.
4. Give yourself a short, set amount of time to obsess, worry and dissect your problems.
When that time is over, wrap it up in your head and ‘close that mental file’ for the time being.
A journal can come in handy for this.
This practice might be something you start out doing a few times a day, but hopefully, as you ‘close your mind’ to the problem, soon you’ll start to see you can live without it.
5. Find something to get involved in.
When we give our time to others or put our focus on something else, it’s amazing how quickly we can forget a problem that once seemed so big.
At the very least, you will be giving yourself a distraction from your dilemma, even for just a little while.
6. Practice gratitude daily.
Simply reminding yourself of all the blessings and positive things around you might just be enough to change your perspective and shrink the problem.
7. Leave your problems in your prayers.
This might be hard for you to just let go and trust. When you give your problems to your Higher Power (for me, it’s Jesus), you are surrendering yourself to believe that everything will be okay.
I think we all go through phases where we get stuck on an obstacle and turn to others for help.
The hope of this article was to not make you feel bad for dumping. Rather, to help you realize what you are doing and to offer up some suggestions of methods for coping with your madness.
Take a deep breath and let the people who have been listening to you know how much you value their place in your life.
Your true friends will always be there for you.
They will also appreciate your effort to not let your personal problems ruin the friendship.
If your friends assure you that you haven’t been dumping, thank them and make sure they know it’s okay to be honest if they need a break from your problem.
If someone does tell you they need to talk about something else for a change, graciously be okay with that. People have their own lives and their own needs as well.
Life is short.
Looking back, some of the problems I obsessed over just seem so trivial now.
I was making mountains out of molehills and then complaining about it…
Things have a way of just working out and resolving themselves.
Maybe not always in the way we want them to, but I truly believe that everything will work out in the end.
And if it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end.
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