Many people often find themselves getting caught up in other's energy. Be it that your child had an emotional response to something, or you feel the tension of your stressed out boss, we have all found ourselves sucked into other's issues and energy. Have you ever talked on the phone with a friend who was going through a difficult time, only to feel agitated after you hung up? You absorbed your friend's negative emotions and energy and let if affect your state of mind/being.
How It Affects You
Depending on the circumstance, the emotion and the connection to the other person, we can experience the aftermath of their emotional outlet in various ways. Many people report feeling the emotions of others after they have been around, or spoken to, someone who experiencing those emotions. These feelings may include happiness, excitement, joy, love, anger, sadness, stress, anxiety, fear, and even guilt or shame. This happens more frequently than we would think and many have a difficult time detaching recognizing and detaching from it. I mean, at the end of the day, aren't you supposed to get angry if someone was rude to your partner or child?
In short: no, you're not. It's great to be empathetic, to support your loved ones and to be there for others; however, it is not healthy for you, nor helpful for the other person, for you to engage in their emotions.
What Does That Look Like?
*RING RING* *Hello Martha, it's me, Jan.*
Martha calls Jan to catch up and chat while she cooks dinner. Happily, Martha talks about work, the kids and the upcoming family vacation. When the conversation turns to Jan, she describes a bleek situation. Her relationship is on the rocks, her children are out of control and she absolutely hates waking up to go to work in the morning. Martha is supportive, even thoigh the all has lasted twice as long as she planned.
After hanging up, Martha calls upstairs and asks her daughter, Wendy, to set the table for dinner. After five minutes Wendy still hasn't come downstairs to set the table. Martha is angry! She marches upstairs and tells Wendy that she is being rude and disrespectful and that she needs to come downstairs NOW!
Wendy comes downstairs pouting, Martha feels guilty and with this, things get worse. Dinner was just ok, not the best thing she's cooked in awhile. Her husband seemed distant, with lots on his mind. After the kids were finally in bed, she gets into bed herself to relax and read a book but all she can think about is the long list that she has to do tomorrow. Giving up, she shuts out the lights and.....doesn't sleep. Instead she tosses and turns all night, unable to fully relax. Worst of all she doesn't even understand why she feels so upset. She doesn't see that she has absorbed Jan's feelings.
Many of us have been through similar circumstances and only in hind sight can we (possibly) see what really happened.
What Can You Do About It
Observe and release is a highly effective method to ensure that you are setting and maintaining boundaries with others. Through practice and a conscious effort you can learn how to:
If you would like to learn more about observing and releasing other's emotions and energy, please feel free to reach out! I'd love to help you work through this and help you set some emotional boundaries for others and yourself. Keep an eye out for our Women & Horse Workshops, as we work on Observe & Release, as well as Boundaries.
Sending Love & Healing,
This blog is written by numerous contributors from our business and other programs.