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Do People Wear You Out? 3 Simple Steps to Prevent People Burnout

Do People Wear You Out? 3 Simple Steps to Prevent People Burnout

Do you get exhausted around other people? If so, you’re not alone. Whether you’re an introvert, a highly sensitive person, or simply someone who feels other people’s emotions, sometimes being around others–even those you love–can leave you desperately reaching for the quiet sanctity of a bathroom stall. It’s common for people to depend on bathroom stalls as their “sacred shrine” of solitude. If you’ve ever retreated to a bathroom or private room during a social gathering and closed the door only to feel a sudden sense of relief in your mind and body, you may be known as someone who emotionally empathizes with others well.

According to Daniel Goleman, author of the book Emotional Intelligence, emotional empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling “in an instantaneous body-to-body connection”. It’s as if the other person’s emotions are contagious. Goleman says, “When people lack the ability to manage their own distressing emotions, it can be seen in the psychological exhaustion that leads to burnout.”

There’s an old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, which is also true when it comes to people burnout. It’s easier to not put yourself in a potential situation where you’re going to get burnt out than it is to try to be happy when you’re already burnt out from people. Here are three steps to ensure that you enjoy the time you spend with others and avoid situations where you won’t:

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1. WHO – Identify the people who generally tend to suck the living energy out of you.

Let’s say, for example, there’s an old needy friend from high school who you’ve outgrown, but still keep in touch out of a sense of obligation or guilt. You can release them, knowing that neither of you are serving each other or the friendship. While you might think you’re helping, by allowing them to constantly dump their emotions on you, the truth is you’re enabling them to remain stuck in their habitual patterns of emotional distress.

If you’re unsure whether the individual(s) is important in your life, then ask yourself the following question: “Would I deeply care if this person didn’t visit me on my deathbed?” Yes, it sounds morbid, but imagining yourself on a deathbed will help clear up a lot of uncertainties and eliminate those who aren’t as important to you. But if the concern involves your children or other loved ones who do add meaning to your life, the tips below will help you manage those needs.

2. WHAT – Identify the circumstances that generally lead you to anxiety, stress, and being emotionally overwhelmed.

If the circumstance is unavoidable, pay attention to the subtle signs of impending burnout. If you’re visualizing an escape hatch magically appearing underneath you or the sudden spontaneous combustion of the person in front of you, it’s too late. You want to be aware of slight shifts in your energy before it overwhelms you.

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You can do this by constantly checking in with yourself and how you’re feeling. Take what author Tara Brach calls a “sacred pause” and reconnect with that within you that’s present and mindful. Doing this throughout the event helps you remain grounded in your own energy so you’re not mindlessly swept away in other people’s energy and end up feeling like you were hit by an emotional Mack truck by the end of the night.

Find ways to take mini solitude breaks so you can recharge. For example, if you’re at a dinner party, volunteer to wash the dishes or clean up. It will give you quiet reprieve to be in your own blissful head space, replenish you for the rest of the evening, and also endears you to the host.

3. WHEN – Identify the times when you have less patience, tolerance, or emotional resilience.

For me, when I’m hungry, I get “hangry” (hungry + angry = hangry). My blood sugar goes down and my hands start shaking. Physiologically-speaking, the brain perceives this as a life-threatening situation and when you’re in physical survival mode, checking in with your emotions is the least of your concerns. So when I’m “hangry”, I know that my emotional tolerance is lower and I make it a point to stay away from people. In recent times, I have learned to cope with my hanger by carrying snacks around.

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Some other common times include when you’re tired, in a hurry, on a deadline to get something done, or going through your own emotional challenges. If you’re experiencing any of these, don’t put yourself in a potentially draining situation. For example, if you know you turn into a tired and grumpy pumpkin around 10 pm, don’t plan to stay out later than 9:30.

Set clear boundaries and stick to them. Instead of carpooling, drive yourself around so you have control over when you leave. If you’re on a deadline for a project and someone calls to talk, tell them you only have 10 minutes and will call them back later if needed. The guilt you may feel for not being there for someone is far better than the frustration, anxiety, and exhaustion you’ll feel if you don’t stick to your boundaries. With practice, the guilt lessens and the other person learns to independently deal with their own issues without using you as an emotional dumping ground.

Be open with your loved ones and don’t expect them to be mind readers. In the same way that some sponges absorb more than others, everyone’s emotional absorption capacity is different. Know your susceptible levels and express them in advance.

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The bottom line is to identify the people, circumstances, and timing that often lower your emotional tolerance and avoid them if possible. If it’s not possible, set clear boundaries and have regular self check-in’s throughout the event so that you don’t get to the point of burnout. That way when you do accept a social invitation or spend time with others, you can actually enjoy yourself.

Featured photo credit: Mike Wilson via unsplash.com

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Tree Franklyn

Emotional Empowerment Coach

Do People Wear You Out? 3 Simple Steps to Prevent People Burnout

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4 Proven Ways to Strengthen Relationships

4 Proven Ways to Strengthen Relationships

While people have special days for relationship or love celebrations, true love really goes beyond that.

This article is specifically not for any special one-time love celebration or romance but it’s about all kinds of relationship. It’s about building all kinds of relationships with loved ones, colleagues, family members, and friends; to anyone who has proven to be someone worthy to share a part in the history of our existence.

When it comes to relationships, no one is really an expert. Everyone has lacking points which often starts so little and with time could cost much more than just a separation, it can lead to a complete loss of the relationship. Siblings may end up fighting with each other, families torn apart, co-workers against each other and even elderly couples ending up in divorce or worse.

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There should be a way for redemption, to build back the lost trust and to build the bridges again linking relationships for a greater bond and for a better relationship. And the best way to do this is by being honest with ourselves, knowing what relationships need to survive and knowing that everyone has to give what it takes. Being perfect may not be the solution, but being self-aware is.

1. Take care of yourself first

Relationships are not easy and anyone who has tasted one can tell. Whatever happens in relationships is a mirror of everything about us. Have you imagined anytime we have bad and stressful days, our relationships seem to be more difficult? Our relationships suffer when we are not happy with ourselves and we can feel it. We feel the lacking, the difficulties, but the one thing we really don’t take into consideration is that we are the cause of the relationship’s shortcomings.

Have you ever seen yourself in a fight, only to wonder later, what you really were up against? Have you sometimes felt disappointed of your expectations when they were not met by people you expected? I really hope this post  helps you overcome all that. Everyone has needs and your instincts should be your perfect guide.

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Whatever needs to be done for someone else and if your instincts tell you to make yourself happy first, please do so. Everyone has needs and everyone can make sacrifices but our happiness should be first. This doesn’t mean you don’t make some sacrifices but sometimes it’s best to make yourself happy first before you can make others happy.

2. Distance shouldn’t be a barrier

“If the vehicle can’t take the messenger, it could at least take the message”. This beautiful aged proverb implies that the message is more important than the sender.

Beautiful relationship quotes can help brighten the cloudy storm around your relationship. The greatest relationship mistakes made over time is the belief that only showers of gifts and being together are what sustains relationships. Well, this has been proven wrong.

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A beautiful message to a loved one like inspiring love message on their profile can break any distance barrier. Little things matters and this is one thing people often neglect. However the distance, people feel special knowing they are remembered, knowing someone somewhere is thinking about them.

3. Remember seasonal celebrations

Many seasons of a year bring holidays periods for families, friends and loved ones to come together and have a wonderful time. Keeping these moments memorable must be your focus – birthdays, weddings, marriage anniversaries and all.

A great feast among the numerous feasts celebrated every year “Christmas” is a perfect time to reach out to families and friends, to have a merry filled moments that makes up for the times of separation, to exchange gifts and inspiring messages with those we sincerely care about. If we can’t be together with those we love in these special seasons, Christmas messages shouldn’t be beyond our reach too.

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If keeping our relationships with people especially those we hold most dear matters much to us, these seasons should be kept in our minds. Remembering seasons and sharing happy moments is one of the proven ways to keep our relationships with loved ones.

4. Take the responsibility

Most times, it’s very easy to find something wrong with a relationship when we are unhappy. Blaming other people for our own feelings we expect them to come up with solutions for the problems and we give them total control over the relationship. Well, expecting a solution from this kind of situation is simply expecting something that will never come because you haven’t actually found the cause of the problem.

Before blaming someone else for what you feel,or for something you/they should have done earlier, the best solution is to look deeper into the problem to see if there is something you could have done to savage the situation, something that could have prevented the problem. Taking responsibilities for problems gives us the creative power for their solutions but if we blame someone else, we shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t do anything to find a solution and the problem becomes even worse.

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