Absorbing other people’s stress (or not)

So here is a test for the recovering stressaholic……… learning the ability to not take on other people’s stress.

All around us people are stressed. Stressed because they are too busy, the kids are misbehaving, work isn’t going well or finances are strained. So, when you are dealing with your own stress, taking on someone else’s can be the ‘straw that breaks the camels back’.

Many of us are highly sensitive and sensing other people’s struggles we feel obliged to help. We start to become involved, absorbing their stress, convinced we can help. In actual fact we are dragging ourselves down and that helps nobody.

More often than not, the stressed party would benefit more from us staying strong, less involved and less emotional. You hear the saying ‘He/she is my rock’, well that’s what they need, a solid person and mind, not a highly emotional busybody!!

To avoid all this we need to firstly recognise when it is happening and when we are most at risk of it happening. Sit down and think about when you are most at risk of taking on other people’s emotions. For example, I know that I am more likely to get involved in other people’s issues when I am feeling a bit unconfident about something and when I have some ‘extra’ time on my hands.

This is not to say I should fill every minute of the day, which was my old approach. No, instead I just need to be aware I may start to take on too much and absorb emotions around me. Sometimes awareness is all we need, the little voice in the back of our head reminding us to look after ourselves first and the rest will follow.


One thought on “Absorbing other people’s stress (or not)

  • I must have known I would need this post later in the week! Since writing it 48 hours ago, I have had to read it several times to remind myself not to take things on! Some weeks are more trying than others.


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