For some the term 'Emotional Hoarding' gives a name to a familiar trait. For others it needs to be defined, because neither they, nor anyone in their ambit can be so labelled.
Emotional Hoarders are those who take everything personal, (or appear to) They are overly sensitive that every word, every action provokes powerful feelings.
Logic, reality is shoved off the platform. All Emotional Hoarders know is how they feel. How they feel is all that exists in their universe. There is no reference to reality or the feelings of others.
Every feeling an Emotional Hoarder holds is stored forever. A 48 year old can remember with living pain, how he didn't have a birthday party when he was 8. That it happened 40 years ago, by the calendar, means nothing. To the Emotional Hoarder it could have been this morning.
To give you a simple example, Fred is walking down the road. He passes strangers.
He hears one tell another; "I hate Nike."
Fred is wearing Nikes. He instantly takes it personal. He wonders why those strangers hate him.
No where in his soul does he, for a picosecond, reflect that those strangers didn't see him, weren't speaking about him, and one merely relayed his opinion of a particular tracker to another.
A normal person would, without needing subtitles, be aware that the speaker happened to see the tracker and spoke to the other about his attitude towards that brand of foot ware, without reference to the wearer. An emotional hoarder, takes everything personal.
And never lets go.
If ten years from that day Fred sees one of those strangers, he will react as if encountering an enemy. And that stranger may ponder, who is this guy?
If you are an emotional hoarder, you need to confront that facet immediately and excrete it. You can not live your life in the past, you can not take everything personally.
It makes no sense for you to constantly assume that everyone around you should apologise to you for a slight that occurred in the past.
A normal person doesn't carry the baggage of every possible slight, real or imagined, for their lives..
Emotional Hoarders constantly demand apologies, over and over again. Those who 'apologise' find that they are expected to grovel at each meeting. This results in the Emotional Hoarder being ignored.
As far as the public is concerned, after the first apology, when further are demanded the verdict si that the E.H. is mentally ill and they don't want them in their lives.
Storing all these real or imagined slights is ridiculous. It makes the Emotional Hoarder repulsive.
Put it simply; no one cares that you didn't have a birthday party when you were eight, or that no one took you to the zoo when you were ten.
You shouldn't even have it in your mind.
That you do makes you ridiculous in the eyes of others. But as Emotional Hoarders do not recognise the existence of other people beyond his purvey, it is very much a narcissistic view.
Emotional Hoarders find change impossible. They put up barriers to prevent the possibility. They will Never Let Go of any slight, even if assumed.
They might be able to shove their pain in a corner, but can't excrete it. They might be able to pretend that everything is 'okay' but are so focused on their pretense they can not move an inch.
They go back to start at the snap of fingers, and although you might have thought they got over the lack of the birthday party when they were eight, they haven't.
It is right there, ready to spring up.
The discomforting thing is that Emotional Hoarders can only see their side of an issue. They are unable to view events from another stand point, or even to deal with it logically.
They assume everyone else has their point of view.. Everyone is aware of what and how and when as if everyone cares so much about them when, In truth, few do.
Those who did care pulled away when slapped with some ridiculous event that happened twenty years ago, having assumed it was buried in the Past.
Annoyed by this dredging, they cut the Hoarder out of their lives.
There is no Past for an emotional hoarder.
They can not imagine alternate explanations. They see the world through their pity glasses and that is the only world they see.
Apology means nothing.
Unless you can get on a time machine and go back and make him that Birthday Party when he was eight years old, he will carry that 'tragedy' to his grave.
Many people pick up the 'vibe' that the Emotional Hoarder is a Narcissist.
Where the standard narcissist brags about how he looks, what he has, etc. to demean you, and prove his 'power', the Emotional Hoarder attempts to demean you by forcing constant apologies.
He may whine about some ten year old slight. Taking him seriously, as if this is a real conversation, you explain, might even apologise for allowing the misinterpretation.
That isn't enough for him. He will demand apologies over and again to have you grovel at his feet, begging his forgiveness. This elevates him, makes him feel superior. It is all he has, so he will never cease. Over and over again he will bring up the same slight, wants another apology. Until you say 'no'.
Once you refuse to apologise, he cuts you off, because you no longer have use.
Just as the standard Narcissist will cut off those he can not impress, the Emotional Hoarder cuts off those who do not beg his forgiveness.
To think of a pathetic whiner as a Narcissist capsizes your definition. How can this nobody who can't let go of slights, real or imaginary be a Narcissist?
The reality is, where he can't brag to make himself feel more important, he whines. He whines to get you at his feet, begging his dispensation, his forgiveness. This makes him feel powerful.
Unlike the average Narcissist who is revealed early in the encounter, the Emotional Hoarder seems the opposite so often gets to wallow in the apologies of others over and again.
Where a normal person you have offended will accept your explanation and move on, Emotional Hoarders never do. They can not. They wish to appear pathetic needing of your deference, but that is not fact. They are manipulative and getting that apology once, twice, three times, elevates them.
Just as you avoid the standard Narcissist, avoid the Emotional Hoarder.