We can all take comfort knowing that every one of us faces psychological challenges at some point. No one is perfect. Everyone deals with emotional baggage.
What kind of baggage do you carry?
Emotional baggage is a useful metaphor—these battered old suitcases hold the mix of negative and unprocessed emotions that we’ve acquired throughout the years. These feelings comes from people, places, behaviors and experiences from our past that still have a negative impact our present.
Each person's baggage is different. If you have cheated or been cheated on, you might have residual issues related to trust. If you have ever felt you were a low priority, you might have heightened sensitivity to feeling unimportant or excluded. The more you know about your own personal baggage, the better equipped you are to handle situations that arise. I encourage you to put some thought into what triggers you emotionally. This quiz is designed to help you determine how much your emotional baggage impacts your present experiences.
Answer the letter that best describes how you feel or act most often. If you are unsure, chose the answer that is closest to being accurate.
1. When it comes to situations that remind me of negative experiences…
A. I avoid or shy away from these situations.
B. I am not very aware when these situations happen, or I brush them under the rug.
C. I try my best to face them head-on whenever possible.
2. When I see something uncomfortable that I'm worried will affect me emotionally…
A. I immediately (consciously or unconsciously) put up an emotional wall so I will not feel the full impact.
B. I don’t notice when these are about to happen.
C. I do what I can to prepare, then I deal with the impact by taking care of my feelings or the situation.
3. When it comes to trusting people…
A. My philosophy is that people aren’t trustworthy unless they have truly proven to be so.
B. When it comes to trust, I don’t pay much attention.
C. I do my best to be open, but will put my guard up as needed if someone appears to be untrustworthy.
4. If I am dealing with other people and they push my buttons or stir up old emotions…
A. I run away or distance myself completely.
B. I ignore it or distract myself.
C. I do my best to educate myself and the other person (if possible) so that we can both be conscious and cautious about it.
5. When thinking about myself and emotional health…
A. I view myself as damaged, troubled or in a place where my feelings would be hard to repair.
B. I don’t evaluate my emotional health.
C. I see my strengths and weaknesses. I try to focus on improving what I can.
6. The emotional baggage that was caused by other people in my life makes me feel…
A. Resentful, angry and/or emotional toward them.
B. I don’t even want to think about that.
C. No matter what I am feeling, I do my best to understand it and heal so I can move forward in a healthier way.
If most of the answers that you chose were the letter “A,” you have a hard time dealing with your emotional burdens. Your tendency is to react negatively by withdrawing, feeling hopeless or behaving angrily. If you tend to handle your baggage this way, you may tend to feel anxious, isolated, angry, resentful, depressed and even lonely. It is important for you to find a sense of hope and a willingness to heal from whatever in your past is troubling you. Seek support and guidance from experts, professionals and your support system.
If most of your answers were the letter “B,” you are someone who tends to brush issues under the rug and avoid working on situations. You might try to fool yourself into thinking that your baggage doesn’t need to be dealt with. People who are like this often find themselves caught off guard because they don’t see things coming. They can have emotional reactions that they do not know how to deal with, and they will tend to lack the skills and tools to learn from past struggles. If you answered with many responses in this category, you need to gently learn to re-engage in your life so that you can learn and grow. You also need to work on coping skills to face what makes you uncomfortable.
If most of your answers were letter “C,” you are doing a good job of being aware of your emotional baggage and do your best to try to manage it in a healthy way. You are not afraid to look for the truth in situations and are open to trying new experiences. You tend to be hopeful, optimistic and growth-oriented.