(10) Emotional Dumping Wrecks Relationships

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

If I was a woman who was losing her family

I hated being here. I was certainly not crazy, but the end of your rope had my name hanging from it, and I could not help wondering if--

The side door opened, and he walked in, very tall and completely bald. He sat without a word and looked at me for a long, uncomfortable moment.

Finally, he asked, “What are you doing here?”

“My, uh, my, my husband left,” I stammered.

“What happened?”

With a heavy sigh, I said, “I don’t know.”

“Tell me what he said.”

“That I’m too angry. Too sarcastic.”

“Are you?”

“What’s too much?” I asked irritably. “I express what I feel.”

“Wow,” he said. “The first minute, and you’ve already nailed the problem.”

I frowned and snapped, “What problem? I thought you psychology types wanted us to feel our feelings.”

“You said express.”

“If I don’t express, I’m not feeling,” I said, irritated.

“Do you express to others; do you have children?”

I gave him a short, clipped, “Yes and yes.”

He stood and asked, “After expressing sarcasm to your husband, how do you feel?”

Suddenly uncomfortable, I remained silent.

Moving behind his chair, he said, “Come on. Do you feel better or worse?”

“Worse,” I whispered.

“And you also feel worse after expressing your anger.”

“No,” I objected. “I feel better.”

He slowly shook his head and said, “Not for long, you don’t, especially when it's your children.”

He was right.

“So, expressing—let’s call it dumping—hasn’t really been working for you, has it? Your husband is gone, and your children probably know to keep their distance.”

“But it’s not my fault,” I complained.

He looked out the window and asked, “Whose fault is it?”

Feeling ignored, I said, “If my husband didn’t say the things that set me off, and my children didn’t misbehave, I wouldn’t have to express myself.”

“Call it dumping,” he corrected, still looking out the window.

He finally turned around and asked, “On your good days, when everything is going just right, do you dump your feelings?”

I hesitated and then admitted, “Not as much.”

“And when you are having a bad day, I bet you really let everybody have it.”

I was silent.

He said, “It’s natural to try and make ourselves feel better by making someone else feel worse, but it pushes away those we love.”

I started to object, but he talked right over me: “Besides, your husband and children don’t deserve it, and you don’t deserve the guilt.”

I hated the whine in my voice, as I said, “Then what am I supposed to do?”

He smiled sadly and said, “Take responsibility. It is you that has these negative feelings. They are yours. Keep them to yourself.”

“Stuff them, you mean.”

“Feel them, I mean. Feeling is not stuffing.”

Finally, he sat down, looked at me for a long moment and said: “Do whatever you can to stop dumping on others; instead, dump all by yourself.”

“How?” I challenged.

“Take a fast walk, bike ride or do most anything physical; beat on the couch cushions and yell. You could also release your pain by just sitting and feeling it.”

He added, “Apologizing can also help you stop dumping the next time.”

He fell silent, then shook his head and said, “Do it for your husband and children, but most of all, do it for yourself.”

That Was Fiction. This is Reality

The parent's meeting had everybody shifting and fidgeting, and it had nothing to do with the hard, folding chairs. No, it was the warning.

We had just been told a letter would be coming, written by our children, and it would say what had never been said: that which bothered them about us.

The warning? Do not dump your feelings!

Apparently, we parents could be feeling anger, hurt, confusion, and the like, and we might want to dump those feelings back onto the source -- immediately.

I have since looked into this phenomenon, and dumping is as common as mud after a rain: a boss yells at his assistant, who is then angry at her boyfriend, who later gives the barista a hard time, who turns around and...

When life is not going well, when we are sick, disappointed or denied, or when someone dumps on us, we experience feelings we neither like nor want; and many of us cannot get rid of them fast enough.

The targets? Are always safe ones, like cab drivers, restaurant servers and cashiers; also the smaller, weaker among us; and, of course, spouses and children.

Some people even dump from the safety of their vehicles, using their horns, voices and, sometimes, middle digits.

The oddest part of all this is that when I dump on you, it always feels like your fault. If you had only done or not done whatever, I would not have gone off on you; and it continues to feel like your fault, at least until that nagging bit of guilt sets in.

What to do?

1.) Take responsibility: those unwanted feelings are within me and therefore mine; you do not deserve them;

​2.) Realize that when I dump, I put more distance in the relationship - every time;

3.) And finally, it is best to get those feelings out but on a non-human target. Go on a run; go to the gym; yell/scream while beating on the bed; or sit quietly and feel them as they release.

Anything to keep my pain away from you.

Oh. Right! You want to know what happened when the letter came. My wife and I were going through a rough patch, and I never saw it. I’d like to think I would have handled it well, but--.


(a close cousin to emotional dumping)

If you have the unpleasant experience of knowing a sarcastic someone, here is a quick way to

Stop Their Sarcasm (& Put-Down Humor) - Quickly, Easily & Quietly Too


All She Ever Wanted. Was...


Her: She was saying, “If only I could find the right guy, I would give myself to him, and—

I stopped her and asked, “Give your SELF?”

Her eyes widened as she realized what she had said and what she had been doing.

Him: Free Insights

His business was deep in the red, and he was now desperate.

I asked him, “If there was one person on the planet holding you back, who would it be?”

He immediately said, “My Mother.”

She was giving him money to keep his business afloat. She had also given him the down payment for his house and had recently taken over the payments. ​

His insight: "I'm 30 years old and still (like a child) dependent on my mother!"

Both Him & Her: The power of a deep insight is that it cannot be unseen; it will tend to keep prodding, motivating and pushing Him and Her into a permanent change (no resolutions needed).

And That Power is Now Yours


Either one of these 2 simple techniques can bring you life-changing insights and permanent change.

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And for more on emotions, 4 Fantastically Simple Ways To Dump Toxic Emotions http://livepurposefullynow.com/dump-toxic-emotions/

Nagging in a relationship? Here is why they won't budge.


The very foundation of personal improvement is self-care/self-love. At this link: https://www.danielsperaw.com/blog/the-essence-of-personal-improvement

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