No “dumping” zone

Do you feel people are often “dumping ” their problems on you?

Do you feel like you can’t say no or stop someone from talking about their problems? Does it leave you tired?

Do you feel obligated to hear someone’s problems? is it supportive for you?

It feels good to vent now and then and I enjoy supporting family and friends that are working through issues. However, to hear someone go on and on about their problems, especially when its filled with gossip or blaming others is usually draining. I certainly have noticed this for myself. Sometimes when I feel this obligation to listen, I notice a few things happen. First, I resent it and my energy gets drained. Also, I’m not as present as I’m usually wanting the conversation to end after a while………. Any of you, start checking emails or doing chores around the house when a conversation becomes one sided? How much value are we really adding in this “not so present” listening mode. If someone is really stuck in “drama” mode, getting stuck talking excessively about the problem, gossiping or blaming others for their situation, that is a lot of negativity to hear. I feel it eventually it starts to drain ones energy.

In the past I have gotten mad at myself for “listening” too long as now my energy has been affected, sometimes lasting for hours or more after I leave the conversation. No matter how much we love someone, does allowing our energy to be drained really serve either person? I feel keeping my energy high actually helps the other, even if they can’t see or feel it.

A few years back, I added a 5 minute “dumping” rule for myself. That is, I would allow 5 minutes of “dumping” to go on in a conversation and if it went beyond I then asked the person if we could schedule a time (if I wanted to) when I could better listen and be present for them. I would say something like, “this sounds like a really important issue for you and I want to hear you when I can be fully present” or being more direct, “it is sometimes draining for me to hear someone talk at length about their problems when my energy is not so strong”. If their was a lot of gossip and blame, I sometimes would offer, “I feel I might be more helpful to you to be a sounding board for SOLUTIONS to your problem” (rather than gossiping and blaming others). Of course, communicating this can be a delicate balance in relationships. I have noticed that it is best to bring up how you want to communicate in the future to those closer relationships, as in the heat of the moment can be a bit harder for the other person to handle. Practice those “I” messages when communicating, “I feel this way”…..”I notice this about myself when”, ect. We all are allowed to feel how we feel about something.

Know that this is a practice and you will likely mess it up, at least I do. I believe in taking small steps to improvement  and that often comes as two steps forward and one step back.

I have been practicing this 5 minute rule more these days. It takes some communication and patience and what I found was and is that when I did this with some people they would eventually dump somewhere else and in many circumstances our connection grew as we more frequently moved into real feelings and solutions when some of the drama was removed. Also, there is an definite energy shift when you change from talking about the problem to talking about the solution.

This is still a work in progress for me and I’m always on the look out for creative ways in dealing with “dumping”, so let me know if you have any ideas!

 

11 Replies to “No “dumping” zone”

  1. Good stuff bro, thanks for listening and helping me focus on the solution. As you know I have taken at least action after our talk. I also sent a message to Feli, sharing that the type of communication that we have been having is not going to work for me. Thank you for pointing out my areas of strength and loving me for areas I still have yet to grow. You have been a true friend to me and you have my permission to guide me on the road to solution 10 to 18 seconds into any conversation with me that you may feel I am gossiping,blaming or otherwise starting to drain your energy. It is good for both of us. You are probably ripping it up on the eastcape right now as I right this. Yeah! Aloha!

  2. I agree with your observations and your methods. However, as a physician, I see myself sucked into the negativity of others every day. Unfortunately, I believe this attitude of negativity travels home to my family. Any suggestions?

    1. Sean,
      Yeah being a doctor and obviously seeing patients that are sick has to be challenging managing your own energy. However, you have a great opportunity to practice keeping your health or energy strong. That is, every time a patient walks in your office. You can practice seeing them a “whole” or “perfect” on the inside (spiritually) despite whatever disease is going on. You can put yourself in a bubble of white light that you create yourself from your higher power before you walking into a treatment room. If a patient exudes negatively, just don’t accept it, turn it back to something positive on them verbally. Since you are a great friend and I know you well, I know what kind of person you are and those patients are lucky to have such a kind, caring doctor that has a big, beautiful heart. You know what positive energy and attitude does to yourself and others, you can ask that of your patients (you can choose who you don’t want to treat if need be) or at least plant the seed or be an example yourself to exude positivity around your patients. If that feels to strong, start with small steps. just think something positive with one patient a day and be aware how YOU feel. Your ideas on how to not get sucked into others negativity will be better than any I have, so see what happens. Treat this as a game, you do not have to be so serious about it. You have always been good at laugh at you mistakes while your learning. Also, you have a great partner that can help you. Bring her into what you are trying and have her give you feedback when you come home.
      Hope that helps!
      Love,
      John

    1. Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

      Let me know if you have any topics I can write about or can help in any other way.
      John

      1. Wow this hits me hard too. I find that I am really ptoisive for and to my kids but am really negative on myself. This is not being a good role model so I too know that it is something that I have to work on as actions do speak louder than words and how can you preach positivity on your children when you don’t practice it on yourself. I think this is a great word to add to your philosophy!!

  3. Thanks for the feedback. Are you saying more photo’s/images on the site or in the blog? Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it!
    John

  4. I simply want to mention I’m very new to weblog and absolutely savored your web-site. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You really have good stories. Thanks a bunch for sharing your web site.

    1. Matthew,
      I have been getting a lot of misdirected emails lately and just wanted to make sure your comments where meant. If so, thanks for the for me, John @ theabundnaceguy.com. If so, thanks for the feedback!
      John

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