What is Emotional Dumping?

After having walked away from a verbal exchange with someone, do you ever feel more conflicted and confused than before you started?  Then you might have just experienced emotional dumping.

Emotional dumping is used as a way for people to escape from taking any responsibility for their actions, circumstances or state of the relationship. It is also a way to deflect the real issues at hand, as a way to protect themselves from coming into and embracing a vulnerable state. Emotional dumping includes:

  • the need to be right or feel justified trumps the ability to compromise or look for a solution.
  • victim type behaviours and language.
  • defensive with the need to blame you/others.
  • the conversation is overwhelming – either with a ‘dumpload’ of issues, or a constant repeat of the same issue.
  • the conversation happens on their agenda and your time is not considered.

There are times when emotional dumping will be directed at you or you become the emotional dumping ground – in either case, the person in front of you isn’t really wanting your input, advice or perspective. Knowing this can be helpful in allowing yourself to make decisions about how you want to handle this type of behaviour in the future, by taking your space, shutting it down, or politely explaining that you can no longer participate in a conversation that goes nowhere. 🙂

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Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@drosie

4 thoughts on “What is Emotional Dumping?”

  1. I have a person in my life like this right now and it clicked for me when you said about not wanting advice, input or perspective. It does seem like after I respond with advice or some other kind of response I usually don’t receive a text back acknowledging anything I said. She messages every day most of the day and sometimes even late at night with the same handful of issues for months now that she never does anything to resolve. Anytime I ever need a listening ear I get silence until she messages later when there’s another problem. She’s full of excuses as to why she won’t resolve these issues. She’s asked me for my mental health facilities name multiple times to get help but thus far has never followed through on that. She has a car and Medicaid which will cover this place with absolutely no cost. I don’t know what bothers me more, the emotional dumping or the fact that this doesn’t seem to be a reciprocal relationship and is coming off more as usery. As far as the messaging goes the only time I hear from her most of the time is when there’s a problem, if I try to message about anything I usually don’t get a response and our apartments are within a stones throw, she’s on her phone 24 7.

    • It does certainly sound as though you may have an emotional dumper in your life. Usually the tell tale sign is the fact that there is a ‘seeking out’ of advice, yet no follow through with action or plan. We are the most content in a reciprocal relationship, when both people are contributing to it’s growth and health.


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