Curious & Curiouser Podcast, Episode 93: What If That’s Not Yours to Carry? How to Stop Taking on Other People’s Problems & the Healing Power of Being Witnessed in Your Pain


This week’s question is:  How do you know when you’re holding something that’s not yours to hold? Tracey and I talk about how you can inadvertently take on the emotions of others, how to recognize when you’ve done so, why it’s not actually helpful to feel your loved ones feelings with them, and what to do instead.

Specific topics discussed include:

  • How we can absorb other people’s emotions and pain without even realizing it
  • Emotions are highly contagious
  • Our brains as problem solvers
  • How boundaries are harder to hold when we get tired, sick, etc.
  • How to recognize when you’ve picked up something that’s not yours to hold
  • Why it isn’t helpful to take on your partner’s, kids’, or friends’ emotions
  • The double edged sword of being simultaneously a very capable and highly sensitive person
  • Why not taking on other people’s shit takes discipline
  • Holding space and what that actually means
  • The observer effect and the power of being witnessed in our pain
  • Why we shouldn’t rescue our kids or partners
  • How taking on someone else’s pain can limit the evolution of a relationship
  • Identifying how our bodies manifest the shit we pick up from others
  • How to discharge the stuff that’s not ours
  • The benefits of visualization
  • How breathwork can help you release emotions and how it works to do so
  • Dismantling outdated stories and updating your identity
  • How thought and body patterns are like slinkys
  • And more!

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Episode 92 on Healing and Magic

Episode 91 on Boundaries

Episode 12 on the stories we tell ourselves

Mindsight by Dan Siegel

Breathwork with David Elliot and Erin Telford

Episode 90 on Marie Kondo and identity crises

Boundaries by Adelyn Birch

Piquing Our Curiosity:

The Dropout, a podcast about Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos fraud case.

Remember, if you have any topics or questions you’d like us to address in a future episode, comment here or email us at our joint email account: We’d love to hear from you!

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