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Emotional Baggage: How To Help Someone Put It Down & Find Freedom

emotional baggage

For some, the past isn’t always sunshine and flowers. Help someone you love drop their emotional baggage and be free by showing them bright skies ahead.

Emotional baggage is a shitbag of all the things in our past that hurt or damaged our psyche in some way. Undoubtedly, there are some of us with more baggage than others. Like those who pack too much for vacation, if someone you love has overflowing bags, it is possible to help them lose their emotional load and be free.

If you love someone who has some pretty awful and hurtful shit in their past, you might help them lighten their heavy load, or you end up shouldering what they can’t possibly handle. Someone who carries emotional baggage has limited capacity to take on more, which leaves you with emotional triggers everywhere and always in the doghouse. [Read: How to successfully date someone with intimacy issues]

Help someone you love drop their emotional baggage

To help them empty their bag of emotional shit and address their trust issues, help them leave the past in the past. Prove to them that whatever it is they carry, they no longer need because you got it covered.

#1 Actions speak louder than words. For people with a lot of emotional baggage from their past, this is not their first rodeo. There has no doubt been countless people from their formative years who left them, cheated on them, abused them, and left their imprint on their heart. Your words likely mean nothing.

They heard the promises before. They have believed in Santa and then found out that he doesn’t exist over and over. If you want to help your significant other, stop telling them who you are and prove it. The proof truly is always in the pudding.

The more you show who you are and that you can be trusted, the more stuff they eliminate from their emotional bag. [Read: 15 sweet gestures to show love without words]

#2 Look past the overreaction. People with a large amount of emotional baggage overreact because they simply can’t take any more. If you will help alter their perception of reality, give them a pass when they flip the hell out. I know, you shouldn’t “have” to put up with it, and you don’t.

But, if you want to prove to them that you are there through thick and thin, look past their crazy and see the person you love underneath.

If you give them a pass instead of punishing them for their actions, they slowly learn there are more productive ways to deal with their emotional triggers than lashing out and hurting those closest to them. [Read: 18 foolproof ways you know you love someone]

#3 Be supportive. People with a vast amount of emotional baggage are used to being ignored and screwed over. Be the exception by being a true, honest, and supportive mate or friend. And if you don’t do what all the other people in their lives have done, their experience with you starts to override their past experiences.

#4 Encourage them to vent. Many times, the reason we carry baggage around is that we aren’t dealing with whatever we harbor inside of us. Encourage your partner or loved one to talk about their feelings and get to the root of what drives all their angst. Listening without judgment is one of the most important components to helping someone with emotional baggage. [Read: 20 signs of insecurity people can’t hide when they feel insecure]

#5 Quit those things that keep dragging them back in. All sorts of studies have been done on whether therapy works. The literature is mixed, but for some people, it appears that rehashing your childhood trauma, bad break up, or any other traumatic experience again and again does nothing but keep you in the past.

The concept behind therapy is to talk through the events to make some sense of them, rationalize them, and move past them. Unfortunately, there are many times that there is no closure for some things. Some shitty experiences simply don’t make any sense. Therefore, just talking about them keeps you stuck.

If you have been in therapy for three years, I would stand to guess that it isn’t the key to losing your baggage. Therapy doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes, it even does you harm.

Evaluate whether your therapy sessions leave you feeling resolved or torn up again before deciding to continue. As a partner, take notice of whether their session hurt or help their emotional state. [Read: How to give someone space without losing them]

#6 Walk away if you must. There are times when emotional baggage in a relationship is just something that you can’t get past. Forgiveness, in some instances, isn’t the solution. Unless you are truly ready to forgive.

For those who think they can, but don’t take any real steps, holding onto an unhealthy marriage or relationship riddled with emotional baggage is like going in circles over and over. There is never any end or way to get off the roller coaster. [Read: 20 right reasons to walk away from someone you love]

#7 The are some people who can’t be saved. There are truly some people who want to hold onto their emotional bag because it isn’t really a bag. It is a crutch that allows them not to move on, keep themselves closed off, or not take responsibility for the hurt and chaos they cause.

Even the worst behaviors benefit some people. If you tried to get someone over their emotional hurt, and they make excuses for why they can’t let go, let go and let them figure it out for themselves. [Read: Hey, white knight, get off your horse and save yourself first]

#8 If you make a commitment, keep it. Often, the reason that we hold onto baggage is that someone made a promise that they didn’t keep. If you want to help someone, make the commitment to never give up, never give in, and just continue to prove to them that whatever they experienced in their past isn’t going to continue on to their future. Undoing the mistakes of other people is a heavy burden to carry.

So, prove to them that there is something better. No matter what they do they can’t get rid of you and you see through their baggage arsenal to the person who isn’t weighed down.

Dealing with someone with emotional baggage is like trying to get someone to let go of their past. In reality, we all come to our relationships with certain past hurts and grievances.

The only way to find peace and to get along with the person who carries a heavyweight, is to help them unpack and feel safe.

[Read: 13 ways to let go of relationship insecurity and learn to love more]

It is possible for you to help the person you love shed their emotional baggage. They just need to override their past shitty experiences and find that not all people are the same.

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Julie Keating
Julie Keating

A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...

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