Have you ever come away from a conversation feeling anxious with a sense of dread? For many years I had no idea what I was experiencing in the aftermath of these conversations. And then one day I heard someone use the term, “emotional hangovers”.
The term “emotional hangover” certainly made sense to me, as I experienced anguish, worry, doubt, distress. tension, fear, dread, apprehension, and unease following conversations with some family and friends.
An emotional hangover leaves me feeling anxious as I believe I have done something wrong that I am responsible to fix.
That I have done something wrong that I am unable to fix.
Emotional hangovers stem from topics that leave individuals feeling blamed, shamed and criticized for what they say or don’t say.
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Prior to my awareness, I had no idea why certain topics of conversation (with individuals) often resulted in my experiencing emotional hangovers.
But thank God, that over time I became aware of these topics. Topics that are slippery slopes for me.
Slippery slopes that; when not avoided, result in my experiencing emotional hangovers.
Techniques and Strategies that Help Me to Avoid Emotional Hangovers
When a topic comes up during a conversation; that I recognize as a slippery slope, I change the topic of conversation. If the individual continues to want to talk about the “slippery slope” topic, I again switch topics.
Changing the topic helps me to practice healthy self-care, while preserving the relationship.
Through being aware of slippery slopes and switching topics, I am able to be true to myself, maintain relationships and practice healthy self-care.
H. A. L. T. S
I also need to be aware of when I am experiencing: H.A.,L.T.S. — Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Sick — that I am more susceptible to reacting to people instead of responding to them.
With this awareness, I need to be brief, be calm and be gone.
Being aware helps me to say what I mean, mean what I say, but not be mean when I say it. Doing so helps me to also avoid emotional hangovers.
Setting boundaries are not about keeping people out. Setting boundaries with people are about understanding and respecting my limits.
I have been getting over being sick during the past 2-3 weeks and have subsequently had to end and limit conversations.
I have also had to set boundaries with the frequency of speaking with specific individuals.
Setting boundaries is being self-caring, not selfish.
Setting boundaries help me to avoid becoming resentful.
Setting boundaries help me to avoid slippery slopes.
Setting boundaries help me to avoid emotional hangovers.
Become aware of topics of conversations that are emotionally charged.
Become aware of topics that leave you with an emotional hangover.
Be aware of what you are experiencing and whether you are reacting to or responding to people, places and things.
Recognize slippery slopes and set boundaries when necessary.
Practice healthy self-care by understanding and respecting your limits.
Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t be mean when you say it.
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