What Is Trauma Dumping? A Therapist Explains The Meaning, Signs, And How To Overcome It

While you run out of eggs within the morning and get a flat tire in your strategy to work, venting about it on the finish of the day can typically be all you want. Nonetheless, when “venting” will get too intense and leaves everybody concerned feeling drained out, you would possibly want to determine what’s trauma dumping. 

Trauma dumping is when an individual unloads their trauma on somebody who shouldn’t be succesful or prepared to course of it, leaving that particular person feeling burned out, negatively impacted, and in an unfavorable psychological state.

What does trauma dumping in a relationship appear to be and the way does an individual understand they’re oversharing their experiences, and damaging the individuals who pay attention? With the assistance of psychologist Pragati Sureka (MA in Scientific Psychology, skilled credit from Harvard Medical Faculty), who makes a speciality of addressing points like anger administration, parenting points, and abusive and loveless marriages by emotional potential assets, let’s unravel all there may be to learn about trauma dumping. 

What Is Trauma Dumping In A Relationship?

“Trauma dumping is when one particular person talks unfiltered to a different with out pondering of the repercussions that it may need on the opposite particular person. Usually, the one who is trauma dumping received’t even ask the listener in the event that they’re in a state to pay attention, and the character of the traumatic incidents being vulnerably shared would possibly depart the listener incapable of processing them or not have the ability to gauge them.”

“A trauma dumping instance is when a mother or father could overshare with a baby. They could discuss issues which are going fallacious within the marriage or the abuse they face from the in-laws. The kid could not have the emotional bandwidth to pay attention, proper? However because the mother or father is trauma dumping, they don’t take into account the unfavourable affect it will possibly have on the kid and keep on about it,” says Pragati. 

When an individual is in a relationship, it could appear as if sharing your traumatic experiences is justified, since that’s actually how two individuals obtain emotional intimacy. But when your companion isn’t in a state to course of the gravity of the knowledge you’ll be sharing, it turns right into a unfavourable expertise for each of you.

They could not know find out how to reply since they’re undecided find out how to course of it. In the event that they’re presently going by a tough part themselves, listening to about your poisonous mom or the abuse you confronted as a baby would possibly depart them in a worse psychological state. 

To be trauma dumping, which means, to ignore the feelings of the one who is listening, is generally carried out involuntarily. That’s why understanding the distinction between trauma dumping vs venting turns into essential.

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Trauma Dumping Vs Venting: What’s The Distinction? 

Merely put, if you vent your emotions out to somebody, you’re partaking in a dialog with reciprocity, while additionally not speaking about traumatic incidents that may shake the psychological state of the listener. 

Trauma dumping, however, is completed with no consideration as to if the particular person you’re speaking to is in a state to course of or pay attention, and an oversharing of 1’s traumatic ideas and experiences ensues. It additionally stems from an individual not having the ability to understand the severity of the issues they’re sharing.

An individual could not have realized a selected incident to be traumatic, could have distanced themselves from it as a coping mechanism, and will converse of it in a nonchalant tone, which then confuses the listener. 

“Loads of instances, in a shared connection, individuals discuss they usually ask how the opposite is feeling. However in trauma dumping, individuals are so consumed by their emotional state, they depart no area to think about the way it’s impacting the opposite. Is the opposite particular person uncomfortable? Is the particular person discovering it too troublesome to digest?

“It’s a manifestation of communication issues. There’s no mutual sharing, there’s no dialogue, it’s a monologue. Loads of instances, individuals do it to a sibling, to a baby, to a mother or father, with out even realizing the bodily and psychological affect it takes on the opposite. After we discuss wholesome venting with a companion, an individual sticks to “Once I noticed this motion, what I went by is that this,” and isn’t a self-victimization alongside the strains of, “You made me really feel like this”.

“However when there’s trauma dumping in a relationship, it may be about blaming the opposite. The particular person goes on and on about it, “In the present day you probably did this, yesterday you probably did that, 5 years again you had carried out that”,” says Pragati. 

Why Does Trauma Dumping In A Relationship Occur?

Now that the reply to, “What’s trauma dumping?”, it is likely to be helpful to have a look at what causes it within the first place. Because the particular person oversharing the troublesome issues they’ve been by received’t be empathetic to the way you’re feeling whereas listening, perhaps understanding why they’re doing so might help. 

Trauma dumping will be a sign of PTSD or different character problems like narcissistic character dysfunction or bipolar character dysfunction. Pragati helps listing out just a few different explanation why individuals could select to trauma dump:

1. Their household dynamics could have had a task to play

“Early childhood stressors can play a task in why an individual begins trauma dumping. Individuals could have themselves been on the receiving finish of it. They could have had a mother or father who overshared. They could have seen related patterns of their household. Consequently, they have interaction in related conversations since they imagine it’s how individuals talk,” says Pragati.

Research present that when a baby experiences a more healthy household dynamic, they’ve higher possibilities of rising as much as be higher mother and father and higher companions themselves. However after they develop up in a harmful setting, it impacts not solely their interpersonal relationships but additionally their bodily and psychological well being. 

trauma dumping can be modeled through family members
The household dynamics a baby experiences can tremendously have an effect on them

2. When the wants of others usually are not accounted for 

“With the onset of social media, we’ve got more and more turn out to be insensitive to the wants of others. Loads of instances, individuals simply assume it’s okay to dump their trauma onto somebody or their social media, with out even questioning the way it would possibly make the listeners really feel,” says Pragati. 

Trauma dumping examples will be seen throughout social media, the place intensely graphic details about abuse will be uploaded and shared with out a lot care about what affect it could have on the viewers. When an individual is behind a display and never interacting with one other particular person, “What’s trauma dumping?”, isn’t going to be on their thoughts. 

3. Remedy remains to be seen as an indication of weak point

In response to a survey, 47% of Individuals nonetheless assume in search of remedy is an indication of weak point. “Individuals really feel as if it’s higher to inform a buddy or a member of the family about their “issues”. Should you go to remedy, you’re acknowledging that one thing is actually fallacious together with your marriage. 

Principally, individuals trauma dump as a result of they’re in denial. They don’t need to acknowledge to themselves the severity of the difficulty they’re going by,” says Pragati. 

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Indicators You May Be A Trauma Dumper

“I used to be conscious that I used to be persistently oversharing with my associates, however I by no means thought I used to be pushing them away with out realizing it. Solely once I discovered what’s trauma dumping in remedy did I understand the damaging conversations I used to be consistently partaking in,” Jessica instructed us. 

Since most individuals don’t cease to ask themselves issues like, “Am I trauma dumping?” until their ignorance is made painfully apparent, probably you could not even understand if you happen to’re responsible of the identical. Let’s check out just a few indicators you is likely to be: 

1. You’re consistently enjoying the sufferer card

“When there’s a wholesome dialog occurring, an individual doesn’t act like a martyr. They don’t say issues like, “Poor me, I at all times need to cope with your temper swings, I at all times need to handle the wedding”. 

“Normally, trauma dumping manipulation takes place by enjoying the sufferer card. “You probably did this to me”, “I felt like this”, “I at all times undergo this stuff” is likely to be just a few issues such an individual says,” says Pragati. 

2. You don’t depart room for suggestions within the dialog 

“What’s trauma dumping if not a dialog that feels unreciprocated? They don’t hearken to any suggestions, they turn out to be very defensive. If the opposite particular person tries to say one thing or discusses it, they could dismiss it, and can make it obvious how they don’t take any criticism kindly,” says Pragati. 

By definition, this phenomenon makes the listener really feel overwhelmed, and their participation within the dialog is often nil. 

3. Lack of mutual sharing

“When an individual is trauma dumping, which means, after they’re not contemplating the ideas and opinions of others, they don’t cease to verify the affect that their speech is having on an individual. It’s a dialog that’s devoid of reciprocity. You’re solely pondering of your personal emotional state, you’re not leaving any room for a shared connection,” says Pragati. 

In impact, such a dialog additionally showcases a scarcity of respect in your relationship with this particular person. After they don’t a lot take care of what you assume or ask you something about the way you’ve been, the dearth of respect might be made obvious.

What is trauma dumping? One-sided conversation
There’s at all times going to be a scarcity of mutual sharing in trauma dumping

4. It feels one-sided 

“Normally when a buddy or a member of the family or perhaps a companion shares one thing with you, you are feeling a shared connection. However when there’s trauma dumping by one, you are feeling as if an individual has simply dumped you with their troubles with out actually ready to see the way it’s impacting you,” says Pragati. 

Do you have interaction in intense conversations with individuals at inappropriate instances? Maybe you’ve by no means requested if the particular person you’re speaking to is prepared to interact in such a dialog. If studying the indicators has obtained you pondering, “Am I trauma dumping?”, it’s crucial to determine find out how to overcome it, lest you push everybody away. 

Learn how to Overcome Trauma Dumping In A Relationship 

“On the finish of the day, it’s essential to comprehend that individuals don’t do that deliberately. This must be handled compassion. Clearly, there’s something that’s overwhelming them a lot that they’re not in a position to cease their circulation of ideas,” says Pragati. 

Together with phrases like trauma dumping in our vocabulary shouldn’t be carried out to discourage individuals from speaking about what’s bothering them. Nonetheless, since consistently oversharing with individuals will finally make them dread speaking to you, determining find out how to overcome it is likely to be a case of bettering communication in your relationships, let’s check out how:

1. Remedy is made for trauma dumping 

“This idea was made viral by a therapist on TikTok, who urged purchasers doing so on the primary session is one thing that shouldn’t occur. That’s very politically incorrect. A therapist is skilled to hearken to a shopper. Trauma dumping to a therapist is regular, it’s their job to hearken to you and encourage you to talk verbatim,” says Pragati. 

“Ideally, an individual ought to hunt down a therapist who is aware of about advanced post-traumatic stress dysfunction, as a result of if you happen to’re reliving one thing over and over, you want a psychological well being specialist who has a scientific psychology background or in depth expertise to cope with it,” she provides. 

Should you’re presently battling questions like “What’s trauma dumping and am I doing it?”, Bonobology’s panel of skilled therapists are right here to information you thru this course of and paint a path for restoration. 

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2. Establish individuals you may discuss to and ask for consent 

While you understand you overburden individuals together with your conversations with out asking them how their life goes, you just about know find out how to repair it. Establish just a few individuals who might be prepared to hearken to you when you’ll want to share and ask them if they are going to pay attention. 

“I’ve skilled one thing that’s bothering me and perhaps distressing so that you can hear. Can I discuss to you about it?” is all you’ll want to say to ask for consent. In impact, it’s additionally a method of being extra empathetic in your relationship, because you’re preserving in thoughts the way in which the listener feels. Should you don’t, it could flip right into a case of trauma dumping manipulation.

3. Journaling and studying books could assist

By journaling, you’ll have the ability to course of your personal feelings with your self. With out oversharing or dumping on one other particular person, writing by your self could be a type of catharsis. 

Pragati explains how studying books on what you’re going by might help as nicely. “There are books on infidelity, abuse, anxiousness, or something that you’ll have struggled with. Since they’re written by credible consultants within the subject, they’ll present you the indicators of what you’re battling and find out how to work by it. 

“Normally, discovering assistance on social media shouldn’t be one thing I’d suggest since you don’t know the skilled validity of the particular person behind the video. You don’t understand how geared up an individual is to present you that information,” she explains. 

unhealthy relationship

4. Divert the power with expression remedy or exercising 

“Issues like clay pottery, creating or dancing to music might help you relieve your self of this urgent power that’s overwhelming you. You possibly can even attempt to train and sweat it out. The fundamental concept is to eliminate this power so that you don’t find yourself trauma dumping in a relationship,” says Pragati.

Research have urged that when train is coupled with remedy, it tremendously helps with psychological well being points and relieves signs of tension and melancholy. 

Learn how to Overcome Social Media Trauma Dumping

As a substitute of specializing in what’s trauma dumping, maybe extra significance ought to be given to a quite common manifestation of it: social media.

“Individuals share an excessive amount of on social media as a result of they really feel that they’re getting validated they usually really feel heard. Nowadays, individuals don’t have as a lot assist round them of their proximity. With social media, they really feel as if that’s potential, even when it’s all behind screens. 

“A technique by which somebody can cease trauma dumping on social media is by growing their very own emotional potential assets. This consists of journaling, writing, gardening, some type of train which makes you sweat it out. The stress of this case no less than phases out to a point,” says Pragati. 

Maybe one of the simplest ways to beat it’s to ensure you’re trauma dumping to a therapist, as an alternative of a beloved one. Hopefully, now much more than you probably did about why individuals share intensely with out a lot regard for who’s listening, and what you are able to do about it if you happen to do it your self. 


1. How have you learnt if you’re trauma dumping?

Should you have interaction in intense oversharing of traumatic ideas or emotions with individuals with out ever asking in the event that they’re able to processing this data, you could be trauma dumping. The easiest way to determine it out is by asking the particular person you’ve been speaking to in the event that they really feel negatively impacted after the dialog (which actually was a monologue your complete time).

2. Is trauma dumping poisonous?

Although it’s carried out unintentionally generally, it does have the potential of being poisonous because it negatively impacts the psychological state of the listener. 

3. Is trauma dumping manipulative?

Trauma dumping will be manipulative because the victim-playing the dumper does can pressure individuals to hearken to them. A dumper could blatantly disregard an individual’s boundaries and share issues that they don’t need to know. 

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