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6 Shocking Signs of Emotional Baggage

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6 signs emotional baggage is sabotaging your relationships

We all carry emotional baggage.

Of course, this can manifest differently for each of us. Some of us carry 5 suitcases of pain and bitterness while some of us just have one tiny bag.

When I was younger, I always thought that emotional baggage was a bad thing.

But later on, I realized that that’s not necessarily true. Being alive means having the capacity to carry past experiences and learning from them, which is a healthy and necessary behavioral pattern.

But there’s a point when this baggage becomes too much, that it can have a devastating impact on our relationships. One of them is the inability to become emotionally available. Carrying too much can literally stop us from being open to new experiences, intimacy, and growth.

If you’re reading this, chances are, you think your emotional baggage is getting way out of hand. Don’t worry, dealing with is actually not that complicated if you’re prepared to face it head-on.

In this article, we’ll explore what is, signs it’s sabotaging your relationships, and how to unload that emotional backpack so you can start nurturing healthy relationships in your life.

What is emotional baggage?

Emotional or psychological baggage is a collective term for any unresolved Emotional baggage caused by childhood trauma, abuse, or any negative experience from the past.

Having  from past relationships is extremely normal. Our  teaches us many things—from helping us manage expectations, discovering what we want in life and relationships, and teaching us how to cope with pain and rejection.

But the problem most people have is not that they have emotional baggage—everyone has them. The problem is that they let their rule their lives.

The issue we all have then is that we don’t know how to unload this emotional backpack, and instead let it seep its way into every corner of our lives. Carrying a heavy emotional backpack has some clear negative consequences.

In fact, one study shows that having emotional baggage stops people from creating a positive lifestyle change. According to the study, “behavioural change can be hard to perform as psychological distress from life baggage can influence the ability to change.”

So how do we handle stop this from happening?

For me, it’s the way we choose to handle our emotional baggage that makes the difference. We have the choice to let it define us or to let it go and move forward.

If your choice is the latter, then you’ve come to the right place. Read ahead.

confused-men6 signs emotional baggage is sabotaging your relationships

Emotional baggage probably has the biggest effect on our romantic relationships. Nothing else brings out our worst demons than by being vulnerable in love. Here are 6 clear signs you might have and unwittingly sabotaging your love life:

  1. Emotional distance

Emotional distance is one of the most glaring signs of emotional baggage in a relationship.

A strong emotional bond is an essential pillar of a healthy relationship. It is linked to intimacy and the ability to enjoy and share things together as a couple.

However, unresolved can stop you from being experiencing real intimacy with someone. You can build up walls and defense mechanisms that might make it impossible to nurture deep and long-lasting relationships with anyone.

If you’ve been told you’re “too closed-off” or you’re hard to read, it’s a clear sign you have some emotional baggage to let go of.

Emotional baggageCommitment issues

Do you have a hard time committing yourself to someone?

Commitment issues actually involve more than just the romantic area of your life. Perhaps it’s also hard for you to commit to work, a place, or anything that requires you to put down roots.

When it comes to relationships, commitment issues might be caused by “attachment insecurity,” which is an attachment style centered in fear. If this is the case, it can manifest in three ways:

  • Fearful avoidant- wanting a relationship, but having a constant fear that you might get hurt
  • Dismissive avoidant – not wanting to depend on anyone or share true intimacy
  • Anxious preoccupied – constant anxiety about being abandoned and having a low sense of worth
  1. Serial-dating

A serial dater is someone who treats relationships like “monkey bars,” transferring from one relationship to the next, with very little time in between. They are never single and can’t hold long-term relationships.

Emotional baggage can sometimes lead to a fear of being alone. Past romantic rejection or childhood trauma can lead people to avoid facing their problems. Instead, they distract themselves by serial-dating and never truly committing to any relationship that requires opening their wounds.

  1. Emotional baggage : Paranoia

One of the worst signs of deep emotional baggage is having paranoia that every relationship will lead to pain or being left alone.

Everybody has fears of being left by someone they love. It’s normal to feel vulnerable when you give your heart to someone. However, can lead you to believe that no one is trustworthy enough to truly love you.

As a result, you might self-sabotage your own relationships. You might even drive away any potential of a meaningful relationship before it even begins.

  1. Projection

Most of us carry our own insecurities to any new relationship. That’s part of being human. However, emotional baggage can sometimes make us “project” our own assumptions to our partners.

According to therapist and relationship coach Monika Hoyt, projection is the “tendency to disown the qualities we don’t like about ourselves and see them in others is projection.”

In this case, projection is perhaps the most damaging behavior that leads to toxic and unhealthy relationship dynamics. When you project your insecurities to your partner, you create blame-games, distrust, and a serious miscommunication that can prevent you from ever developing a happy relationship.

  1. Comparison

Comparing past relationships to your new one could be understandable. It makes sense. Someone else is filling the role of your ex, so a little comparison is natural.

However, you might be carrying emotional baggage from your previous relationship if you’re constantly comparing your new partner to your ex.

The problem?

According to relationship and dating expert Jonathan Bennett:

Emotional or psychological baggage is a collective term for any unresolved emotional turmoil caused by childhood trauma, abuse, or any negative experience from the past.

Having emotional baggage from past relationships is extremely normal. Our  teaches us many things—from helping us manage expectations, discovering what we want in life and relationships, and teaching us how to cope with pain and rejection.

But the problem most people have is not that they have emotional baggage—everyone has them. The problem is that they let their  rule their lives.

The issue we all have then is that we don’t know how to unload this emotional backpack, and instead let it seep its way into every corner of our lives. Carrying a heavy emotional backpack has some clear negative consequences.

In fact, one study shows that having stops people from creating a positive lifestyle change. According to the study, “behavioural change can be hard to perform as psychological distress from life baggage can influence the ability to change.”

So how do we handle stop this from happening?

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