At the time of this writing, Prince Harry’s long-awaited book Spare has just been released and has been embraced with two diametrically opposed points of view. feels that the book contains too much personal information and continues to talk endlessly about his family’s trauma, eventually revealing his unhealed grief. Still, the book tops the bestseller list. Even within my own circle of friends, we have two completely different views of him.
“Harry has the courage to break the chain of generational trauma and stand up against his toxic family environment,” one says. . Being in such a public role has not been easy. But people are tired of the constant whining right now — first with Oprah, then with various podcasts, Netflix, and now this memoir. This requires an expiration date.
This leads to a conversation with a dear friend whose colleague went through a bitter divorce. My friend was a great support to that friend, and even now, a year later, her friend continues to pour the same stories and grief into her, sharing various (often unnecessary) details about marriages, divorces, and ex’s. My friend’s question to me is is this a healthy vent or an emotional dump?
Emotional dumping is the act of unconsciously sharing your own feelings and perspectives without being aware of the other person’s emotional state or current needs. This is an incredibly common (and often addictive) pattern of bringing past emotional experiences back into the present. Often it is so unconscious and natural that they do not realize how this is affecting their partner. What we seek (in the process of emotional dumping) is connection, intimacy, and intimacy, not necessarily solutions.
This can be overly frustrating and exhausting. It can also make you feel helpless because there is usually not much you can do. You may try to give the other person advice or a point of view, but there is resistance. You might really want to be there for the person, but their stubbornness wears you down.
Bent, on the other hand, is all about connection and compassion. Exhaling to or with a trusted companion will give you relief. It occurs within a timeframe and does not continue in iterative cycles. Seek solutions and respect personal boundaries. You can also openly exchange opinions and feedback.
In life, each of us already has enough luggage to carry. Some of us have great friends who share the load. But it might be worth making sure we are respectful of their companionship and not overloading them. Learn to keep building your inner resources.
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