If you're the one getting dumped on, Becker suggests validating the person's feelings and showing empathy, but telling them you do not feel comfortable being in the conversation. “[Then offer] to help them secure the more helpful person or professional to talk to about this,” she says.
Focus on non-judgmental, compassionate responses which help reduce shame. You might say “I'm so sorry you had to experience that,” or “you didn't deserve that, and you deserve support now,” or “I want you to know you're not alone,” or “you did what you have to do to survive.”
Emotional dumping is an act of unconsciously sharing your feelings or perspective without an awareness of the other person and their emotional state or needs. Emotional dumping typically occurs as a heightened reactive response to a triggering event that is relived and repeated within a conversation.
Emotional dumping is a toxic form of venting. When you emotionally dump you are unaware of both your own emotional state and the state of the listener. Emotional dumping does not include the consent of the listener and ignores containment within time, topic, and objective.
Emotional dumping on your friends, acquaintances, or strangers without warning or permission is abusive and manipulative—toxic oversharing.
"It's usually unconscious anxiety that they're venting and just start dumping onto another person as a way to release the energy and frustration, and getting that out can seemingly help a victim of some sort of trauma," she says. There's a fine line between venting and dumping.
Emotional invalidation is the act of dismissing or rejecting someone's thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. It says to someone: “Your feelings don't matter. Your feelings are wrong.” Emotional invalidation can make you feel unimportant or irrational. It can take many forms and happen at any time.
Most of the time, trauma dumping is not purposefully abusive or manipulative. It's more common for a dumper to be so involved in talking about their traumatic experience that they are unaware of how their story is impacting their listeners.
The bottom line
Venting is a healthy way to share negative emotions and reduce stress. But with trauma dumping, you overshare in a way that makes the listener feel overwhelmed or ignored.
Usually foisted upon loved ones, close friends, or unsuspecting acquaintances, trauma dumping can be a problematic red flag for many, setting off alarm bells that a connection is taking on a toxic edge.
And if it happens to be one of those weeks, be honest with this person, Nobrega says. You can set firm boundaries in a loving way. Try something like, “I want to be there for you, but I'm unable to support you today in the way that you need,” and maybe even follow up with another date or time that's less busy.
If you have a partner who dismisses your feelings about some topic, talk to them about how this affects you. Pick a time when you are calm. Explain that their response makes you feel hurt, angry, sad or whatever it is that you feel.
Stonewalling, one of the Four Horsemen, is Dr. John Gottman's term for one or both partners shutting down when feeling overwhelmed during conflict. Rather than confronting the issue, someone who is stonewalling will be unresponsive, making evasive maneuvers such as tuning out, turning away, or acting busy.
The most common forms of invalidation include blaming, judging, denying, and minimizing your feelings or experiences. Invalidation isn't just disagreeing, it says: I don't care about your feelings. Your feelings don't matter. Your feelings are wrong.
exploiter Add to list Share. An exploiter is a user, someone who takes advantage of other people or things for their own gain. Being an exploiter is selfish and unethical. To exploit someone is to use them in a way that's wrong, like an employer who pays low wages but demands long hours.
Aptly called emotional vampires, emotionally draining people exhaust you. You feel you have no energy left after interacting with these tiring people. Because they drain your energy so much, you don't feel like spending time with them.
An Emotionally Draining Relationship is one witnessing constant conflict, lack of authenticity, minimal attention, and negligible reciprocity. It can make a person feel frustrated and emotionally drained and affects his/her mental well-being.