Have you ever come across someone who has the same story every time you see them? The same issue and same story? They could talk about it for hours on end but you have mastered the art of changing the subject with them? Yeah? Well my husband and I were talking about how I have to prepare to be around people like that. He said something so simple...ask them 'what are you doing to change the situation?' I looked at him like "I NEVER thought to even go there". He looked at me and said you're welcome, next story lol.
I couldn't help but laugh because he wasn't wrong (although I can't say that too loud or else we won't have any oxygen left in our house due to his blooming ego) but I was always use to the protocol of allowing people to get things off their chest and when they are done I just move on. I never thought that doing this really affected me until I noticed that I would find ways to get out of meeting up with these types.
I remember a women's ministry event that I attended and the pastor said something so profound that it stays in the front of my mind. "Don't be a dumpster. Stop letting people dump on you!" When she said that I initially thought that I had all of 'that' under control. I guess I was wrong. I understand that sometimes girl talk means getting things off of your chest and being a soundboard for your circle but at the same time if we are going to be true friends to one another and have a sisterhood we have to set boundaries. I can be your soundboard for 5 minutes then we either need to work on a solution or change the subject and don't come back with the same story unless it involves progress.
Setting boundaries keeps us from being dumpster (and/or dumpers) as well as helps us to fix it. There are those who are fixers naturally and they listen from that perspective. Then there are those who are cheerleaders and nurturers and, well... Sometimes those are the prominent dumpsters. Don't take it in. Leave it with them. Your health and wellness depend on it.
Don't bring home other people's problems, issues, etc. because they'll have you thinking they are your own.
Let's talk...What do you think? Have you ever experienced being the dumper or the dumpster?
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