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We are made of emotions and feelings. If we learn to handle them skilfully, we manifest good health, good relationships and abundance.

Processing emotions can be learnt; mastery over them takes practice. This is true especially with heavy emotions such as stress, anxiety, resentment, anger, fear etc. If one continues to live in emotional turmoil, without giving them healthy expression, life will seem difficult and dreary. Expressions are important but equally important is their healthy outlet. Sometimes people dump their negative emotions on others, this unhealthy trait is called emotional dumping. It can be in bursts or can come across as a chronic habit.

What is emotional dumping?

When emotionally triggered by any negative emotion, an expresser offloads his/her ‘feelings’ to a listener without their consent.

It is a toxic manner of emotional release. “It is an act of stealing time and energy from the listener,” says Dr Robert Kiltz in his blog. Not only is there no regard by the expresser for the listener’s consent, but also to the listener’s energy levels, emotional status, boundaries, time or readiness to handle their dump. Most often it is done without realising by the dumper/ expresser.

In his e-blog, Dr Kiltz gives an idea of what emotional dumping looks like:

• Defensive.

• Avoidant of taking personal responsibility.

• Inconsiderate of another’s time, energy, or capacity.

• Ruminating on a specific triggering event rather than expressing underlying feelings.

• Playing the victim.

• Filled with blame.

• Not open to finding a solution.

• Resistant to feedback or another’s perspective.

• A cyclical return to the same problem over and over.

Dumping affects a listener’s emotional well-being as much as it does of the expresser. In dumping mindset, a dumper is not interested in solutions and hence this form of venting doesn’t upgrade to consultation. The looping over problem continues.

Fallouts of emotional dumping:

Strained relationships

It leads to avoidance of the dumper and ultimately crack in relationships. This is because a listener may not be in mental or emotional readiness to take an energetic overload. While positive talks are life-energising, light and bright, talks evoking helplessness, fear, etc are heavy and devoid of life- energy. As a survival mechanism, a listener consciously or unconsciously avoids the expresser/dumper to protect to their own energy field.

What can a listener/receiver do? Set healthy boundaries and prevent energy fatigue. This could mean saying no to certain talks, such as those involving constant complain or feeding fear-based talks and/or encouraging clinging attitude. An approach such as setting certain time for listening is helpful to both; the listener is prepared emotionally and mentally and the expresser gets to vent. Setting boundaries, however selfish it may seem at first, will ultimately prevent resentment build-up on both sides.

Note that a chronic emotional dumper is an off-loader, disinterested in self-responsibility, and a receiver without healthy boundaries, is a constant taker; this, in energy terms, is imbalance. In healthy relationships there is overall balance in the give and take of energy. Relationships flourish in such environments.

Bad health

As regards emotional dumper, if you are one and don’t know it consciously, first recognise that this trait exists, to be able to course correct. Have the intention to course correct. This will improve overall health and mental resilience. Deepen connection to the spiritual side. Connect with your own self in deeper ways. Practice mindfulness meditation to channel emotions in a healthy manner. Meditation helps dissolve disempowering beliefs, reduces vulnerability, builds self-trust and brings clarity. Constant ill health is a manifestation of unprocessed emotions which exist in repressed, suppressed or denied form.

Emotional dumping often comes in the form of verbal expression to others, but can also be expressed non-verbally, through body language or in form of negative email or letters or through social media channel outbursts.

(Disclaimer: Urmila Rao is an emotional healer and a forgiveness teacher. All the ideas expressed herein are her own, and not professional advice or medical prescription. Her website is: Email: Urmila Rao’s book, ‘Meditative Musings: Curate your Thoughts to Heal Body, Mind & Soul’, is now on and The book is a collection of 60 writings.)