Home » Blogs » Building Your Secure Self » Have you become an Emotional Warehouse? Part 1

Have you become an Emotional Warehouse? Part 1

Ever hear yourself talking with someone and getting heated up?  Emotionally revved up. Can’t slow it down?  Or feel trapped by it?

This can happen when we’re getting charged up about something. It might be about a sense of injustice, feeling out of control, or being powerless to change things.

Mirror Neurons

We’re empathic people, naturally and normally.  You may have had the experience of watching sports on TV and seeing someone get hit really badly?


Your body recoils just by watching.

Or you’re with someone who starts to yawn.  Next thing you know you’re yawning, even when you didn’t feel tired before.  This is the phenomenon of mirror neurons in action.

Research with mirror and motor neurons gives us an understanding of how instantaneously we pick up information from people around us.  Mirror and motor neurons show up in small and large ways.

Our bodies, hearts, pick up energy like radio signals. 

Our emotional states are like an internal movie soundtrack of what’s going on inside.  And get broadcast to others around us.

Pigpen, in Charles Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip, carried his dirt around him, visible to the eye.  Our emotional states get broadcast energetically.

Have you become an Emotional Warehouse?

This happens when we pick up emotional states of others around us.  We get filled up by their emotional “stuff” almost without knowing what’s happening.

The more filled up we get the more we need to talk to others about the situation, or we ruminate for hours, days, weeks, interrupting our sleep and rest.

Stress increases.

We can feel sick, anxious, overwhelmed, out of control, scared, not safe.

If we have an unhealed early life template for complications, emotional drama, or scapegoating, we might unconsciously volunteer to get caught up in a current situation. 

Our genetic template and attachment imprints interact with our environment to influence how we perceive the world around us.  Over time we develop beliefs and “scripts” to describe this to ourselves and to explain to others why we are the way we are and why the world is how it is.

If you were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where you were seen as an incredibly interesting person, loved and cared about, well, that also predetermines how you see the world later on.

If, however, you grow up in an environment that ignores you or where you’re ridiculed, well…. probably you can guess the outcome of that.

All is not lost though!!! 

Even as our growing up pre-loads us for certain points of view, the new emerging research on human potential and possibility articulates the underlying reality:  we can shift that template.

We do not have to be stuck in any situation, ever.

We can change who we are in relationship to whatever is going on.

That doesn’t mean we stay in a relationship that’s bad for us, or continue working in a job that is destroying our self confidence.

It does mean that we can change who we are, the basic templates that suggest to us how we perceive the world.  We can get out of bad situations, we can develop the courage and strength and self structure to make the changes we want in our lives.

To protect against this triggering world around us we have various psychological and energetic protective barriers to filter out the often over-stimulating stimuli.

Problem is we also filter out what works.

Many of us tend to have permeable interpersonal and personal boundaries which have us pick up the emotional states of others around us through these mirror neurons.

One person’s upset can get swallowed whole by others around them…getting shoveled into your body, weighing you down.

Problem is we block ourselves from reaching into the corners of our psyche to reclaim the core strengths and virtues that are native to each of us as human beings.

When we block off access to those native characteristics it becomes harder and harder to believe good things are possible, making it harder to want to be present, to be here, in this moment.

Because we’re around others who aren’t present to their own positive characteristics we protect ourselves.

Signs and Symptoms of Being a Storehouse

  • Needing to talk to others a lot about the situation or the story or the people
  • Ruminating in depth and at length
  • Feeling sick, anxious, overwhelmed, out of control, scared, not safe.

Does this resonate with you?  Are there similarities you’ve experienced?  Post your comments and questions below — I’m glad to go deeper into this with you.  Part II coming soon.

Have you become an Emotional Warehouse? Part 1

Deirdre Fay, LICSW

Deirdre Fay, LICSW, has decades of experience exploring the intersection of trauma, attachment, yoga and meditation, teaches “a radically positive approach to healing trauma.”  An international speaker and workshop leader, Deirdre has written Becoming Safely Embodied (Morgan James, in press), Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery (W.W. Norton, 2017),  co-author of Attachment Disturbances for Adults (W.W. Norton, 2016) as well as the co-author of chapters in Neurobiological Treatments of Traumatic Dissociation.  A former supervisor at The Trauma Center, trainer for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute from 2000–2008, she’s also certified in Internal Family Therapy, qualified trainer in Mindful Self-Compassion, former Board member of the New England Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation which add depth and understanding to these practices. Deirdre is a respected international teacher and mentor integrating trauma, attachment, yoga, and working safely with the body. Visit her website to get a FREE Safe Guide to Healing Trauma.

2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Fay, D. (2020). Have you become an Emotional Warehouse? Part 1. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Jun 2020
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.