My third grader came home yesterday in a great mood. She was so pleasant and excited. They had made bat caves at school, and she said, “It was the best day ever.”
So I was very perplexed when, a few hours later, she was very grouchy and grumpy after going to the store with her sisters and dad.
I knew if we didn’t get it figured out, we were in for a night of defiance, complaining, explosions, and tears. So I decided to say something to her. She was standing in the kitchen, arms folded across her chest with a seriously crusty face when I brought it to her attention.
“What’s going on? What happened? You were in such a good mood,” I said.
“I don’t know,” she scowled. I could tell she really didn’t know why she was so upset.
PROBLEM: My third grader was suddenly super grouchy and crusty, without any obvious reason as to why.
I voiced a thought that popped into my head. “Maybe you are carrying someone else’s emotions from the store. . . . ?”
Without any hesitation, she said, “That’s a definite yes.”
I was surprised she was so sure. “Really? How do you know?”
She responded, “I feel like I had a really bad day, but I didn’t. I had an awesome day.”
I was blown away that she was articulating this with me. This is exactly what carrying someone else’s emotions feels like!
SOLUTION: She recognized she was carrying emotions, and then gave them back.
I walked her through the steps of how to give the emotions back (which does not affect the other person at all). (Read more about that process here.)
And she was fine the rest of the day.
I love that the problem of carrying someone’s emotions is so easy to solve and leaves you feeling better almost instantly.
Can you recognize when you’ve picked up someone else’s emotions? Have you tried giving them back? It takes practice—even I forget to check in on this topic when I start feeling off. But when I remember, and take the steps to unload, I feel so much better after.
You can too! Try it out!
P.S. If you need a little extra help making your way through your emotions, download my free flowchart that walks you step-by-step until you can do it on your own.