Using super emotional responses to things you don’t like isn’t as clear-cut as it may seem. In fact, there could be several things hiding behind overreacting behavior.

Have you ever wondered what’s hiding behind overreacting behavior? Just in case you don’t know, overreacting is basically a heightened emotional response that occurs when something out of the ordinary happens.

Most of the time, if you spill your drink on the kitchen floor, you’d just complain a little and clean it up. But where overreacting is concerned, spilling your drink could trigger a tantrum. Have you ever wondered why responses can be so different from each other and relate to the same situation?

What’s hiding behind your behavior?

Overreacting is so much more than a present emotional response. There are several reasons why you might react in a severe manner when dealing with a small problem. It’s actually pretty normal to overreact because there is so much stress in the world today.

However, even though it may be common to overreact, it’s not healthy. So, let’s take a look at what’s hiding behind overreacting behavior.

1. Manipulation

Let’s just get this one out of the way first. Overreacting is sometimes a direct manipulative attack. When someone overreacts, we’re surprised and then we attempt to calm down the “offended” person. This fuels the overreacting behavior, however, and makes it worse.

And most of the time, you know if you’re using overreaction to manipulate another person. But there are rare instances where this tactic is used so often that it becomes a part of who you are.

In cases like this, professional help is needed. As for the victim of this manipulative behavior, do a little reading on body language so you can tell the difference between common overreacting and manipulative overreacting.

2. You feel threatened

It’s human nature to experience the fight-or-flight response. It helps us deal properly with environmental threats. However, it’s a problem if you’re in fight mode over something that doesn’t warrant such a response.

One thing you may be hiding behind overreacting behavior is a threatening feeling. And it’s not always due to some personality disorder.

Did you know that overreacting is part of evolution? That’s right. Sometimes animals will kill intruders before they even know if the new animal is dangerous or not. So, sometimes, we humans make those assumptions too, and we overreact before thinking things through.

Hence, whether it’s logical or not, we’ve neutralized what we see as a threat.

3. You struggle with insecurities

You are more prone to overreact if you suffer from insecurities. But remember that not all disagreements stem from insecurities, as many people in relationships tend to assume. But dealing with self-esteem issues will make you more emotional.

This heightened emotional state will also make you more prone to overreact to situations where you feel like your self-esteem is in danger. It’s just one of the things that hid behind overreacting behavior.

4. Loss of sleep and rest

Sleep is so important to your health. The lack of sleep, or consistent sleep, can cause you to feel bad physically and mentally. Where you would normally brush off criticism, your fatigue may cause you to overreact and lash out.

In fact, sleep deprivation literally disrupts the connection between the medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, which causes an overreaction to negative stimuli.

5. Deprived of food

Can lack of food be the culprit hiding behind overreacting behavior? Why, yes, it can. When you do not eat like you’re supposed to, your blood sugar drops. When this happens, hormones like adrenaline and cortisol pump into your bloodstream in an attempt to push your glucose levels back to normal.

And we know what cortisol and adrenaline do. That’s right: this concoction creates more stress and energy. Now think about how you act when you overreact, and you can see the energetic stress involved.

6. You’ve been triggered

There are still so many people who aren’t familiar with “triggers”. To make a long story short, a trigger is something that reminds you of a past negative event or traumatic situation. So, it’s easy to see that triggers, whether it’s a sound, a person, or a place, can cause an overreactive response.

It may seem like nothing to walk into a room and smell whiskey, but to someone who is triggered by this smell, it can cause intense emotional upheaval. So, if you’re overreacting, do an inventory of your triggers and see if that might be why.

7. You suffer from an anxiety disorder

We all experience normal amounts of stress. But some of us deal with anxiety disorders, and that’s different. And anxiety can cause a person to overreact to otherwise trivial problems, even causing panic attacks as well.

It’s difficult for loved ones to understand the responses of those who suffer from anxiety, but it is valid and very real. So, it’s possible that anxiety is hiding behind overreacting responses.

8. Pent-up emotions

There is another reason why you may be overreacting, and it’s a simple one. If you haven’t expressed your feelings about a certain situation, and it’s still bothering you, these emotions will only remain stored away until later.

And when these emotions grow too large to remain inside, they will erupt into, that’s right, you guessed it, an overreaction.

The funny thing about this is you may not even be overreacting about anything related to your pent-up emotions. Let’s just say it was the last straw.

Can we stop overreacting?

To a certain extent, we can improve the way we respond to others. However, overreactions will happen from time to time. It’s just human nature. But, as always, a good dose of introspection can decrease the frequency of this unhealthy response behavior.

If you’re overreacting, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just try to express your emotions and learn more about your little quirks and eccentricities. If someone you love is doing this, be patient with them. After all, no one is perfect.

However, if overreacting behavior has become a serious problem in your family or relationships, seek professional help for all the tools you need to heal. Stay safe and stay aware.

Be blessed.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. P. Lavoro

    Very valuable information Sherrie. Thank you so much for what you do.

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      Thank you for reading, P. Lavoro!

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