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How to stop overreacting in a relationship

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Overreacting means having an emotional reaction out of proportion to the situation. There are two kinds of overreacting: External overreactions are actions and behaviors that other people can see, such as shouting at someone angrily. Internal overreactions are emotional responses that others may or may not notice, such as deciding to give up on the drama club because you did not get the part you wanted.

Both forms of overreaction result in damage done to reputations, relationships, reputation and self-esteem. Featured Articles Calming Techniques.

When this happens, it can...

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Learn to be aware of cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are automatic thinking patterns that cause the person to distort reality. For people who have overreactions, it is typically because of negative or highly self-critical judgement that make a person feel negatively about his or herself.

Everything gets blown out of proportion, often leading to over-reaction. These are typically formed in childhood. Having an authority figure such as a parent or teacher with a high level of perfectionism, or is overly critical, or with unrealistic expectations can easily lead to this. Just because you think something, does not automatically mean you have to accept it as fact.

Challenging unhelpful or unscrutinized thoughts can lead to freedom.

Overreacting in Your Relationship: Reasons...

Only seeing the potential for negative outcomes, and habitually disqualifying the positive, is a common cognitive distortion. Understand Common Types of Cognitive Distortions.

All of us have triggers...

Everyone has had experience or at least seen others over-react to situations. For some people, these reactions can become a habit How to stop overreacting in a relationship way of seeing the world. For example, a child who had a bad experience with a large dog may forever be nervous around dogs.

A girl is nervous about an upcoming date. The boy texts that he has to reschedule. The girl decides he must not be interested in her or that would not happen, so cancels the date.

In reality, the boy was interested.

A woman is having a rough time at work, and worries that she will be fired and then will be homeless. Instead of focusing on her time management skills, she suffers from constant anxiety. On a family vacation, the father is frustrated by the poor quality hotel room. Instead of focusing on the lovely beach, and the kids who scarcely spend any time at the room, he constantly grumbles and ruins the fun for everyone else.

If you find yourself using these words about yourself in a negative, judgmental way, consider re-phrasing it. But if I don't, a B is still a respectable grade. But catching yourself using these words negatively and in a rigid way indicates a way of thinking that may How to stop overreacting in a relationship unnecessarily negative and rigid. Write down automatic thoughts in a journal or diary.

Just listing what you think can help you recognize its existence, when it happens, what it is, and help you observe them. Ask yourself if there is any other way to consider the source of your cognitive distortion.

Is this automatic thought part of a pattern? If so, where did it start? How is it serving you now? Becoming more conscious of your own subconscious thought patters will help keep you from overreacting.

Identify "all or nothing" ways of thinking. This kind of automatic thought pattern, also known as "black and white" thinking, is a primary cause of overreaction.

Overreacting in relationships can destroy...

Automatic thoughts are not based in rational thought, but in fearful, overly emotional reactions to stressful situations. The "all or nothing" thinking is a common cognitive distortion. Sometimes things are all-or-nothing, but normally there are ways to get some or most of what you want, or find an alternative. Learn to listen critically to your inner self-talk, and notice what it's telling you.

If your inner self-talk is filled with cognitive distortions, that can help you recognize that the "voice" that is talking to you is not necessarily accurate.

Consider practicing affirmations to follow the automatic thought. Affirmations allow you to reframe the negative, "all or nothing" thinking with a positive statement that reflects your new beliefs. For example, remind yourself, "A mistake isn't failure. It's a learning process.

Take a deep breath before responding. Pausing to take a breath allows you time to consider possible alternatives. It may disengage you from automatic thought patterns. Breathe in through the nose How to stop overreacting in a relationship a count of four; hold the breath for a count of three, then slowly breathe out through the mouth for a count of five. You will be more likely to respond with heightened emotions and fear.

If your breath is slower, your body will believe you're calm, and you'll be more likely to be able to access rational thought. Identify patterns in your overreactions. Most people have "triggers," which may generate emotional overreactions. Common triggers include envy, rejection, criticism, and control. By learning more about your own triggers, you'll be more likely to control your emotional reactions to them.

Rejection occurs when someone isn't excluded or turned away. Exclusion from a group activates the same brain receptors as physical pain.

Criticism allows someone to engage in the cognitive distortion of overgeneralizing. The person confuses a critical response with not being liked or appreciated as a person, not just the single act that's being criticized. Control issues cause overreaction when you're overly worried about not getting what you want or losing what you have. This is also an example of catastrophising. Ask yourself, "How important is this? Will I remember it tomorrow? Or a year from now?

How about 20 years from now? Allow yourself to take a step back from the situation, and acknowledge that it might not be that important.

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