Experts Reveal Why “Traumatized Dumping /” Your Problems With Friends Are Toxic And How To Avoid It
A shared problem is a problem divided by two. But share too many issues and you could be exposed to “dumping trauma,” one expert warned.
The phrase applies to people who feel the need to unload even their smallest problems and frustrations onto others, rather than those who need to speak through genuine difficulties.
Oxford University psychologist and associate colleague Nelisha Wickremasinghe, author of Being with Others: Curses, spells and scintillation, explained that people who “dump” rely heavily on their friends because they don’t. no other way to process their emotions.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Nelisha explained how to avoid trauma by setting limits.
Oxford University psychologist and associate colleague Nelisha Wickremasinghe revealed why you should never leave your problems to your friends (stock image)
Why do people âemptyâ their trauma?
âPeople who ‘pour out’ traumatic thoughts, feelings and energy onto others – who speak and behave with ‘savage vulnerability’ – find it very difficult to organize, process and filter. their feelings appropriately. “
She said that the act of trauma discharge can sometimes suggest that the person is experiencing a deeper psychological problem, such as borderline personality or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
However, in everyday life, the expert said the lines are blurring between what to share with a friend and what should be kept to yourself or discussed with a professional.
âPeople are increasingly confused by the culturally mixed messages about what is okay to share and when,â she said.
“The use of the word ‘trauma’ has also become more ‘elastic’, meaning that some people experience and describe relatively minor life challenges as ‘traumatic’.”
When “trauma” is not a trauma
Nelisha, pictured, explained that we tend to share too much when we don’t know how to deal with our feelings
Nelisha said there is a difference between trauma dumping and the actual trauma people can experience after post-traumatic stress abuse.
âI think we have to distinguish between the two. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a potentially serious problem where flashbacks and powerful memories disrupt the mind and the ability to relate to others, âshe said.
She added that if a person is suffering from PTSD, they would need the person they are talking to making a serious effort to help and get it.
She went on to say that people should recognize that an inconvenience such as standing in line for gas or missing a promotion is not the same as surviving rape, witnessing murder, involvement in a fatal accident or the premature loss of a loved one.
The things people with trauma are likely to complain about are more like Feeling abused by a demanding boss, partner or friend, being single, fear of catching Covid, being unattractive, outrage when you is overlooked or not noticed, paranoid feelings that others talk about or plot against me, and a general attitude that the world is against me.
Excessive sharing has become the norm … but it’s not always a good thing
The author said that there is such a thing as over-sharing, and it has become the norm.
âExcessive emotions are encouraged and have become the norm on social media and on talk shows and reality shows. In addition, there is now a mountain of self-help manuals and messages asking us to get in touch with our feelings and talk to each other, âshe said.
People turn to trauma removal because they are told that sharing what they feel is good, but not how to deal with their emotions.
âYet in many schools and workplaces, emotions and feelings are not properly addressed or nurtured, and in some places they are even discouraged,â she said.
âSo while we are told that feelings are a good thing, in reality there is little opportunity to practice and learn to express, understand and process them. “
She explained that trauma dumping is also a consequence of what she calls the “threat brain,” the “part of our emotional system that is alert and reacts to danger.”
“An overactive threatening brain will flood us with powerful feelings and thoughts which, if we don’t calm and contain them, will eventually spill over into everyday life and relationships,” she explained.
“Our threat brain can be activated by real and imagined threats, which is why, to some people, relatively minor issues can seem terrifying – our ability to replay, imagine and overthink makes it so.”
Why trauma dumping can hurt BOTH parties
âThe trauma spill causes problems for everyone involved, as highly charged speech and behavior stimulates a part of our nervous system that floods our bodies with powerful hormones and chemicals to keep us hypervigilant and alert,â he said. she declared.
Nelisha also said it takes time to recover from a discussion of someone’s trauma.
âDetoxificationâ from this may take some time due to the feelings that arise after the âtraumatic bingeâ.
âFor example, people often feel guilty and ashamed because they feel they have over-shared and / or embellished and exaggerated the details of their problem.
They may also feel heightened anxiety because the dumping ‘solution’ did not remove the pain, instead, it provided her with energy focused on the issues that keeps her ‘memory active.’ The traumatized dumping , it’s like drinking too much alcohol, it can be good in the moment, but the effects are long-lasting and painful.
And for the person who receives a trauma discharge, it is also a cause of suffering.
âThey want to help but can’t because the goal of eliminating trauma is to unload emotions, not to solve problems. Or they feel resentful and are exhausted from the emotional ‘bombardment’ and their inability to escape it, âNelisha said.
âFriendships and partnerships thrive on reciprocity – which is about sharing, giving and receiving. On the other hand, trauma spillage is one-sided and people are used as objects on which to project pain.
“When this happens, the receiver can experience ‘secondary trauma’ which is a kind of emotional contagion where negative feelings become contagious.”
Are you likely to be the victim of dumping trauma?
Nelisha also discussed the type of people most likely to experience trauma.
âIf you find yourself receiving someone’s trauma dump, ask yourself ‘what attracts me or allows people to use me in this way? “she said.
Three Ways to Say No to Trauma Dumping
Learn about your threatening brain and share with your friend / partner how trauma dumping increases threatening brain activity and creates anxiety and stress in both of you.
Â· Let your friend / partner know that when your threat brain is activated it makes the trauma worse and research shows that it is better to breathe slowly and steadily than to speak when we are afraid. Invite your friend to stop talking and breathe – you can do this together.
Don’t see this person when you are tired or stressed. When you see them, repeat and be ready to say your ânoâ.
The tone in which you ask yourself this question is crucial because it is not about blaming yourself, but about compassionately understanding how your relationships might not serve you well.
So ask yourself this question with kindness and curiosity.
She explained that people who tend to offload their trauma on others subconsciously seek out other people who have become containers for their unwanted feelings.
“In each of us there is a sixth sense that operates through our unconscious mind seeking and connecting with people who in different ways allow our unconscious needs, aspirations and characteristics to be seen, heard and linked. “said Nelisha.
She added that you are more likely to become a trauma dumping target if you like people as well.
“A person who suffers from trauma subconsciously seeks people who have an average need stronger than to be loved or to please,” she said.
âThis need arises – again often unconsciously – from a fear of being rejected or of not being kind. It comes from a belief, learned in early childhood, that we can guarantee love and security by being kind, submissive and submissive to others, âshe added.
And just as we react to perceived danger can influence how we cast our problems on others, the way we react to danger also influences how likely we are to react to people who dismiss their problems from you.
“If you find it difficult to keep your friend or partner from pouncing on you, you may have this tendency that comes from the ‘freeze’ portion of our brain response repertoire to theft-leak-freeze threats,” Nelisha explained.
âWhile animals literally freeze by standing still, humans freeze their own needs and beliefs so that they can fully focus on the other person – which seems to be the safest thing when we feel fear,â he said. she continued.
She said such brain strategies, which include fight, flight and freeze, are rarely used to support good relationships, nor can they help a friend who is suffering from trauma.
âFinding out that you might be caught in a threatening brain ‘freeze’ loop is your first step in learning how to deal with the people who take advantage of you,â she said.
âAsk yourself: what did I do as a child to get my parents’ approval, attention and love? And consider where you fit on the continuum from submission (eg, pleasing people) to dominant (eg, competition and success).
âThen taking small steps towards a compassionate affirmation can help. It means learning to say no in a non-defensive way, âshe added.