Identifying Emotional Baggage

Have you ever wondered why emotional baggage is evident to everyone except the person carrying it? Do they not see it? Do they not feel the hump in their backs created by the weight of it? Do they not have any real friends in their life? Have they become numb to the pain? Have they ignored it and slapped the “it’s just the way I am” label on it? So many times we walk around in survival mode never really allowing the pain to properly manifest to allow healing. We continue in a world of existence rather than truly living life to its fullest. So how do we know we are carrying baggage?

1.  Bad or Negative attitude. People who carry emotional baggage, always point out the negative in everything. Life experiences have left them wounded and allowed them to justify their actions. Frustration and anger are generally their first reaction to unexpected issues. They are also easily angered and quick to jump to defense mode whenever they perceive criticism.

2. Unable to keep steady employment. People with emotional baggage often job hop. Finding employment is easy, but keeping it is a totally different story. The reason for firing or quitting is general the same: they didn’t like me, they were jealous, the manager was a hater, they weren’t paying me enough to do all that work, etc.

3. Series of failed or unhealthy relationships. Those with emotional baggage tend to choose the wrong partners, yet they don’t recognize the pattern. The mates they choose generally have similar personality traits. They are dating the same people, different names/looks, over and over again. They tend to attract the cheater, the abuser, the manipulator, the user, etc.

4.  Always the victim. Those with emotional baggage don’t accept responsibility for their actions. They always point the finger at others or declare their reaction is based on ill treatment from others. He/She always made them do it.

5.  Refuse to be alone. Those with emotional baggage suffer greatly from loneliness. They refuse to be alone. They will generally jump from one relationship to another quickly with no breaks. They also fall in love or shall I say lust quickly. Every person they meet is boo. They often move fast in relationships: commit, move in, have sex, etc. before getting to know the person.

6. Self-isolation. As we get older our friendship circle will get smaller, but those with emotional baggage refuse to socialize. They hide behind the excuses of work, family, or even the messiness of other women to forgo social activity. Truth is they lack the ability to form meaningful relationships. They will not allow anyone to get close them for fear of being hurt.

7.  Relationship standards derive from past hurts. Experience makes the best teacher, but not when the experience is one of pain and hurt. Those with emotional baggage use what they went through as prejudice towards others. Many proclaim “I will never allow a man to do that again” or “I will never allow a man to hurt me like that again.” They tend to make the new guy pay for the mistakes of the old guy. Many also tend to look for trouble based on those hurtful experiences.

Misery loves company. I have found that those with emotional baggage tend to group or attach themselves with people who are just as broken as them. Check their circle you will probably find the same damaged people. How do I know? Because I was her. I was the one with the bad attitude, series of failed relationships, always the victim, suffering from loneliness, yet isolating myself from others and I chose my relationship standards based on a painful past.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. – Proverbs 27:6

As friends, we are obligated to go to our friends IN LOVE and help them mend their brokenness. A friend pointed out my bad attitude, which caused me to seek help and guidance and God. In Saved, Single and Frustrated I explore my frustrations with singleness of the excuses I used as to why I was so great and allowed God to show me my worth, help me release soul-ties, and prepare me for the healthy relationship I desired.