Emotional baggages tends to weigh you down, and mess up your relations with friends and family. So how do you know you are carrying emotional baggage and what do you do about it?
Assumptions: You are very often riddled with self-doubt and see the worst in you and begin to assume others are too. This, in turn, could make you defensive. If you›re experiencing negative feelings about the person you›re with, ask yourself where these feeling are coming from. Could it be that you›re making unfounded assumptions?
Paranoia: In order for a friendship to work, you have to trust each other. If you don’t fully trust someone, or even if you do and are just being cautious, your paranoia can manifest itself in some extremely unattractive ways. Clinginess, neediness and breaches in privacy are some of the outcomes; no one wants to feel as if they are under constant surveillance, especially if the other person did absolutely nothing to betray your trust.
Comparing: This goes beyond simple paranoia; it is more subtle and insidious. If you see a new friend smile in a certain way, or utter a certain phrase, you immediately begin comparing this person to an abusive ex-friend, or an immature person you befriended before. Here, you are letting your past drag you down unnecessarily. Instead of concentrating on stray and unfortunate coincidences, try thinking, instead, of all the amazing qualities your new friend has that your ex- friend did not.
Stonewalling: In order to fully commit to a new and lasting friendship, you should also know each other pretty well. Holding back on emotions, or reliving painful events from the past in ways that affect your present, can keep a friendship stagnant.
Holding back: In many cases, the fear of being betrayed and hurt can be indicative of a deeper problem. If you’re not giving any of your friendships half a chance, it is time to do some soul-searching. There is nothing wrong with being alone, but is it what you really want? And if it’s not, what’s making you hesitate when you come across the possibility of a good friendship? If all else fails, consider talking to a therapist about burning that emotional baggage and learning how to connect to people.