top of page

Stop Letting People Dump their Problems on You!

Most of my life I’ve had compassion for people who suffer from emotional upsets due to their upbringing or challenges they face and don’t know how to cope.

Even in high school I’d be in the bathroom washing my hands or fixing my face and someone would come in crying and I’d take time to talk with them and console them.

They didn’t know I was living in foster care. I had an older sister that would call me sometimes too and tell me her boyfriend problems. Again, I was a teenager, in foster care.

It was a pattern through out my life that people would tell me their problems. I just felt I had to help, but oh, how I wished for help myself.

Not finding help for myself I learned to turn to God and pray and that’s where I found my strength.

One of my old bosses told me I had a “Save the world” complex. We’ll not anymore. To much stress in my life has affected my health.

Attracting Emotionally Unhealthy People

As I got older I continued to attract upset people and support them however I could, even if it was just listening. I remember a time when I was in my mid to late twenties. I had my own unresolved emotional problems I was dealing with. I knew I needed help of some sort in that moment. I was in despair, hurt from broken relationships.

Then, someone knocked at the door. It was my sister, a different one. She was crying and very upset about her relationship with her husband. I felt like God was sending me a cruel experience. I never had a chance to tell her how I was feeling. After she left somehow, I found the strength to make it through my own difficulties.

Why you shouldn’t let people dump on you!

1. It’s Draining

The number one reason you should not allow people to continually dump their problems on you is because, it’s draining.

Some people will call you every time they have a problem and it can be as much as every day. It can change your whole emotional tone for the day and, put you off schedule with your own task.

I make an exception for my children, one in particular. But there are times when I need a break and take it.

2. Co-dependency

Some people are co-dependent, they don’t now how to rely on their selves. The best thing to do is to tell them that they are co-dependent and point to them to a professional.

If you feel the need to be everyone’s shoulder to cry on, you can be co-dependent too. It makes you feel good to help. But, you should already feel good about yourself with out catering to needy people.

3.Finding Their own Strength

Always being the other person’s savior does not allow them to find their own strength. Point them to a professional and or point them to God. Teach them how to pray if you need to.

How much listening is healthy?

Friends- Occasionally, once a month sounds healthy. Once or twice a year, even better, unless they have a specific short-term problem and just need a bit of support. But, don’t neglect important task and other important people in your life like your children or spouse.

Family- Occasionally, -once a month is okay, but still a lot. Once or twice a year is healthier, unless they have a specific short-term problem and need short-term support over a two to three-week period! They should at some point find a professional to help them as their primary support system and use family and friends for after hour venting.

Spouse or partner- As often as possible. Every time they have an issue You have to, you married them and their problems are your problems.

Hopefully, you didn’t marry and emotionally needy person or energy viper.

How to break a person’s habit of dumping on you.

  1. Tell the individual that you are happy to listen and advise when you can, but suggest they see others or professional support.

  2. I always direct people back to the person they have the issue with. You can talk to 100 people your problems, but it will not get resolve until you talk to the person you had the issue with.

  3. Remember, it’s not going to just go away.

Problems don’t just go away, they just change over time so don’t ignore them.

Secondary Trauma

Have you ever heard the term "Secondary trauma?" It's the emotional impact felt when a professional counselor, doctor or anyone taking on another’s pain is impacted by the others pain situations. They start to feel emotionally impact just as the other.

I’ve experienced secondary trauma, it’s very real and very real for all of us emphatic people.


How to develop healthy boundaries.

  1. Say no, not now when you need to.

  2. Encourage the person to get professional help

  3. Suggest the person talk to the one they have issue with.

  4. Stop answering the phone!!!

Don’t become unhealthy yourself while trying to help others!

Need help breaking old behavior patterns. I can help you with that! Call me today.

Vivian Gale

Certified Life Coach and Author

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page