Today I want to talk about over-reactors.
And I also want to talk about how, if you’re with somebody that makes you overreact, then you need to re-evaluate the entire relationship that you think in your mind you may have.
My mother was an over-reactor. She would fly off the handle at any given moment.
You never knew when she was going to be calm, and serene, and loving.
And you never knew when it would switch. When that flip would switch or that switch would flip.
I remember one time I was having a bagel and I was eating it over the sink. My mother came down and she attacked me with a verbal barrage while my friend was there witnessing it. He looked at me and said, “is your mom okay?”
And I looked at him and said, “Sometimes she is.”
There was another time when my sister, brother, and I were watching TV. My mother asked us to rearrange the house. That was a big thing we would do.
We would refuse to do it because we were watching some show. But my mother said she’ll just do it around us. She started picking up the couch and throwing it on the ground. She started throwing things around the room. My sister and brother were on a chair, and she flipped it over. She screamed and she yelled.
So, I don’t do well with over-reactors. When I say something to somebody and they verbally attack me and threaten me, I tend to want to run to my room.
Because that’s how my childhood was.
I truly believe that if someone said something to you, you need to truly listen to it, take it in, and process it before you react.
If you react in the heat of the moment, you tend to push that other person back. To me, when someone says something, I like to take a timeout.
I like to literally think about what they said, process what they said, and feel what they said. I try to imagine what it’s like being them.
I’m not perfect by any means. At certain times I will react.
But I will not overreact and I will not attack someone’s character.
I will not hit below the belt.
And that’s what I find a lot of people do. They hit below the belt. Someone says something to them, it triggers something off in them, and then they go into personal attack mode.
My mother did that.
I used to do that. I’ll admit it. In my relationships, probably in my 20s, probably from my 30s, I was using my same beautiful skills my mother taught me: how to overreact.
I am not proud of it at all. But it was partly the way I learned how to have relationships. And it’s really how I really was taught how to have a relationship. You yell and you scream, you hit below the belt, and then you apologize.
You see, once somebody has overreacted a few times and they apologize each time, I start to take notice.
Once that happens, I don’t trust they anymore. I just think to myself, when is the next time they’re going to overreact? When is the next time they’re going to give me an empty “I’m sorry,” and when is the next time it’s going to happen again?
If someone calls you out and calls you an over-reactor, then I strongly suggest you listen carefully to them and get some therapy or a coach to help you through it.
Figure it out. Because if you don’t figure it out, you’re just going to continue to overreact, and a good relationship, one with someone who has high self-esteem and somebody who is maybe all-around a good person, will probably take a walk.
You’ll probably ruin a chance you had to have a great love relationship because of the way you handled things. A good person will point it out to you and not react back. And just say, hey, work on this.
Listen carefully to how you do things. And once again, if you’re overreacting, I strongly suggest you take a look at how you’re being triggered and work on those dynamics.
It might save your next future relationship.