This post contains the s-word because I didn’t feel like filtering today. If the language offends you, feel free to read some other amazing content on this site. There’s plenty to choose from.
Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something. — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Have you ever gone through your day feeling like other people are trying to make their problems your problems?
Of course you have. You’ve also been the perpetrator in that scenario.
Everyone is dealing with their own shit.
Worries. Stress. Anxiety. Urgency. Fear.
One of the patterns that shows up when we get into these states is that we project our shit onto others. Let’s talk about how this shows up and how to stop it, whichever side you’re on.
5 Ways People Try to Dump Their Shit Onto You
(1) Casting Doubt on Your Plans
These are the people who question your plans or dreams because they have fears around it. It’s not the path they would choose.
Don’t start that business. It’s too risky. What if you fail?
You can’t do it that way. It won’t work.
(2) Trying to Control Your Actions
Some people will try to control your actions through rules, or through how they give or withhold love. Their love is conditional on your doing things their way.
You learn to do what you need to do to earn their love, not realizing that you’re absorbing their fears.
(3) Projecting Their Pains or Fears on You
This is when a person unconsciously projects their fears onto you, assuming that you have the same fears or pains as they do.
You shouldn’t go on that trip because you get sick easily; what if something happens to you?
You can’t afford that.
(4) Asking You to Take Their Loss
This is when people try to have you literally absorb their costs.
Real estate brokers get this one all the time from clients who try to argue that because their home will sell for less than what they ideally want, or because the market is soft, the agent should agree to lower her commission.
(5) Making Their Urgency Your Problem or Fault
This is when someone blames you for not doing your job well because they aren’t getting the result they desire in the time frame they want it.
Think of the person whose running late and blaming the cab driver for not driving through the traffic to get to the destination faster.
(6) Bonus: Spreading Negative Energy
This is the person who thinks that having a bad day is a reason to be rude to everyone around them.
Two Rules to Keep Shit Where it Belongs
We all perpetrate this sometimes.
That person in the back of the cab, backseat driving and yelling at the cab driver for not going fast enough? I’ve been her more times than I’d like to admit.
And we’ve all been on the receiving end of it. We can absorb other people’s shit sometimes without noticing.
Neither side is healthy. So this is a good pattern to change.
The first step is to notice when it’s happening.
Then there are two rules.
(1) Don’t Dump Your Shit on Others
When you’re the perpetrator, stop. Become aware of what you’re doing and don’t try to dump your shit on anyone else.
I stopped being the bitch in the back seat of a cab simply by becoming aware of what I was doing.
(2) Don’t Take on Other People’s Shit
This is about establishing boundaries. And boundaries can be challenging.
Setting and maintaining boundaries often triggers fear of loss. Because boundaries keep people out, and you want to stay connected.
But boundaries give you the ability to voice what you need for your health and well-being.
You have enough of your own shit to deal with without taking on other people’s shit.