How do I know if I'm overreacting?

72 Answers
Last Updated: 05/19/2019 at 3:38pm
How do I know if I'm overreacting?
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Jennifer Crumlish, Ph.D.

Psychologist

My practice approach is collaborative and I am dedicated to providing a safe space where clients can explore issues, gain insight and become empowered.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous
December 4th, 2014 9:08pm
Before reacting, step back and ask yourself what the worst part of the situation is. Ask yourself whether it will matter a day, week, month, year from now. Try placing yourself in their position, and think of how you'd expect others to react. Take deep breaths and try to ask yourself what really bothers you about the situation?
Anonymous
June 14th, 2016 9:58pm
I order for you to know if that's the case, first I'd suggest you be mindful of your thoughts and see if you are committing one of these fallacies: -Mind reading- you assume you know exactly what people think; -Mental Filter- you filter out anything that is good from your thoughts, seeing only the bad things; -Prediction- you assume you know the future; -Snowflake effect- you believe if something bad happens that will lead to more chaos, and that chaos will generate more chaos, and that chaos will create awful things, and you end up believing that if A happens Z will immediately be your destiny; -Catastrophizing- you believe always in the worst case cenario, not because you are certain that it is true, but rather because you are too afraid of living in the reality that you can't, in fact, know if your thoughts are necessarily true or not. There are lots of other fallacies you may fall into if you're not mindful enough of your thoughts.
bouncyWriting56
November 24th, 2014 10:15pm
The concept of 'over reacting' is really told from a third person perspective - that is, from an objective point of view given any situation, if another person knows the same details, they would compare your reaction to your reaction, if they wouldn't react in the same way, they might consider it over reacting. The issue really is that we don't have an objective point of view when we're involved in the situation that's making us react - it's easier for a 3rd person to say "That's too much", when it's not really their argument, conflict or stresser. Generally speaking, if you feel wound up by something, wait a few seconds for the initial emotions to sink in, then take a deep breath and exhale slowly before you say anything. The deep breathing will give your head a chance to absorb what's happening and give your brain a chance to let the rational side 'kick in' and help look at the issue from a third person point of view. Take a step back emotionally before responding, put yourself in another person's shoes and picture what they feel might be an appropriate reaction.
Anonymous
September 9th, 2017 12:53am
You are the only one who can really tell if you are overreacting or not. Other people have no right to tell you whether you are reacting an appropriate amount. Other people are not you. If you find a lot of people are telling you that you're overreacting, that you're sensitive, or whatever along those lines, those people are toxic unsupportive voices, even if they seem to have good intentions. You deserve to be surrounded by people who love you and encourage your self-expression. It is normal and healthy to have reactions, feelings, and thoughts about things. We are humans and reactions are part of that. We cannot control what other people do, say, think, or how other people react - but we can control ourselves. With some acceptance that we do react, and some awareness of how we react, why react that way, what triggered that reaction and why that bothered us, can help. If we shine a light on our internal emotions, we can learn from them and learn how to use them in healthier and healthier ways. Good luck!
RibbonOfLight4
August 29th, 2016 2:59am
First of all, I believe overreacting begins with imaginary thoughts that you believe "could" be true. I mean, assuming something that you can't really know. Ask yourself if your reaction is driven by the facts, or by the thoughts of what "could be" behind that fact. Overreacting always takes everything in the universe (I'm exagerating on purpose), all clues that point to one thing that makes you upset. Are you upset because a fact? Or are you upset because you thought something behind that fact and everything "seems to be connected"?
marinadivision
November 29th, 2014 8:47pm
Every time something that makes you feel bad happens, try to imagine yourself from other point of view, and analyze if you are acting correctly. For example, someone said something non important, and didn't have in mind to offend you, instead it made you feel sad, angry, nervous. Try to imagine being in that someone's place, and understand that it really wasn't meant to be mean. It might be a good idea :)
SocialButterfly31
March 13th, 2015 5:49am
The way I know I am overreacting is when I start to say things that are hurtful to people that I really don't mean.
Mary497
June 10th, 2015 5:03am
Take a step back from the situation! Take some time, and when your emotions aren't as strong, think through the situation logically. Was your reaction based on emotions from other things going on in your life? Was your reaction more than the situation required? Asking questions like these, when you aren't as upset anymore, can help you clarify why you are feeling a certain way.
minervasarrowcomplex
December 21st, 2014 9:18am
Charts can help a lot with pinpointing the source of emotions. Writing out what the situation was, what upset you, and how you reacted can be a great tool for exercising self-awareness.
RaeOfHope
December 15th, 2015 5:03pm
If yo are upset, take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask yourself if someone else was In the situation, how would you advise them to react. Taking yourself out of the equation, can sometimes give you a new perspective, and help you see a situation clearly.
SacredArtist
September 22nd, 2017 9:10pm
To begin to feel much too angry and too shut down and too sad and as if one is imploding even if because you feel misunderstood... may be a sign of "overreaction." Effective communication often comes from a place of maintained openness and calmness and general positivity. By all means, we will and we may feel perplexed, a bit annoyed, a little bit on the side of furrowed eyebrows... but the whole idea, I think, that we should keep in mind... is that ultimately it's all about getting ideas across and even if you feel you cannot you must know that the gates to someone else's mind is entirely of their own access. Just as your mind is. Overreacting often doesn't feel good. And when do any of us truly not want to feel good? Our goal should be, perhaps, to make our point as best we can, listen as best we can, perhaps this one most importantly, and come to some kind of middle ground if either party feels they still disagree. Because in the end it's OK to and you should come away feeling OK.
QuietHawk
May 27th, 2018 1:32pm
I was trained to allow 3 days to subside before I respond to a 'charged' situation. By adopting the 3 day rule, the details of the 'charged' situation have the time to deepen within my mind and heart and I have been able to process the information from every direction. I notice that my response on day 3 is much different than the raw reaction I held on day 1. I have never regretted allowing 3 days to pass before my response. Then the 'overreacting' does not become and issue at all.
trevor3999
November 27th, 2014 8:19pm
I try to take a big step back from the situation and reflect on it to determine if the issue is under my control or not. If it is, I can take steps to fix or lesson the pain from the issue. If the issue is not in my control, I am overreacting and must let the pain and discomfort from the issue go. For my personal way of dealing with this: I like writing about the not-controllable issue and then meditation. These two methods get the negative thoughts out of my head onto paper/screen, and then archive it away. If the uncontrollable issue is still bothering me, it's time to find a listener :)
WhenTheTimeComes
July 15th, 2017 10:11am
This can be difficult as we all have different tolerance about how far can we follow how we feel. The important thing to do is to identify how we feel, are we reacting on sheer logical thinking or are we angry, upset, pissed, hurt, or even depressed? If we are reacting based on our feelings then we might very likely be overreacting. The right thing to do is to take some time off and analyse how we feel so we can be acting with a clearer mind :)
LouisaCT
December 18th, 2014 2:43am
That's really hard to tell sometimes, and I know it can feel like you're overreacting a lot or like you "should" be overreacting more than you are.. the only advice I can give you is to keep checking-in with yourself.. before you react (if you can!) take a second and count to 5, or 10 if you can), and then evaluate "is this an appropriate reaction?" ... if you answer "yes, this was a large problem" then you may well be justified in having a large reaction.. Just keep checking-in with yourself and being mindful of how you're reacting.. after you have a reaction do some self-reflection about the situation and ask yourself the same questions! Best of luck!!
heycrysteezy
August 31st, 2015 8:37pm
For me, I never know until after the fact. Sometimes, even a day or a few days after the situation happens. I go back and reflect on the situation calmly, and then the revelation comes to me, or it doesn't. Usually if I did overreact, it'll hit me like a ton of bricks in the form of guilt. If it's something that can be fixed, I'll apologise. If it's something that can't be fixed, I'll own it. However, if I don't feel guilty, and don't look back and feel like there's something I could've done differently, I own it and feel confident that I reacted in the best way possible, regardless of what other people might say.
Anonymous
December 21st, 2016 3:34pm
What I do when I'm questioning whether or not I'm overreacting, is I wait to react until a later time. Before I react to something I'm feeling strongly about, I wait 5-10 minutes. If I feel the same way then, then I'm not overreacting.
NatalieB
March 22nd, 2017 10:49am
I always find it helpful to try and look at the situation and my behaviour or reaction to it, from an "observer" point of view. And then just ask: If someone else behaved or reacted like this, would I find it reasonable and justifiable?
loyaltyWithin19
January 13th, 2018 2:40pm
Here at 7 cups we don't class as anyone as overreacting. No matter even its a just a little niggle or something you want to get off your chest, we are here to listen to guide you through it
anotherfrenchtoastmafiaa
March 28th, 2018 6:55pm
Just imagine, would you want the other person to act the same way you are if roles were reversed? If then you feel like it's an over-reaction, then yes, you are.
Anonymous
May 2nd, 2018 10:09pm
if you are overreacting you will start to think about everything in much more detail and pick at things to get angry about or get happy about
psychosynthesis
November 24th, 2014 11:26pm
If you feel like you don't love and accept yourself in that moment. You couldn't judge your action as overaction if you were accepting yourself , your emotions and feelings.
Rach42
November 25th, 2014 7:03pm
Over thinking, and becoming anxious over small things are signs that you are overreacting. Best thing to do is to take ten minutes breath in an out in four counts and relax. Then come back and solve the situation
Anonymous
December 8th, 2014 12:45pm
To know if you are overreacting if first you regret things you say in the heat of emotion ,lash out at loved ones, have to apologize to others for your actions or words, feel surprised at your seemingly uncontrollable reactions, assume the worst about people and situations and withdraw when things get emotionally overwhelming
intelligentLake76
December 30th, 2014 6:05pm
I know I am overreacting when my tone gets high and I have a hard time focusing on how I am feeling.
politeHero42
April 18th, 2015 10:18pm
When you feel like your reasonable mind goes away and you seem to be making hasty judgments, you are most likely overreacting.
WarmSmile
September 8th, 2015 11:45pm
Your emotions starts to race so fast and you "act" before you "think". Everything hits you so personal and you cannot see things from an objective point of view.
Anonymous
November 3rd, 2015 3:35pm
think about it....imagine being in place of who you are upset at and then you will realise because sometimes we only remember our situation but we should think about others too
courageousSpring35
November 30th, 2015 12:23am
Sometimes you don't realize you are overreacting til it happens, then when you do realize what a fool you have been, you begin to wonder why you examine things a lil bit better.
Wolfboy2
December 1st, 2015 11:24pm
The best way to tell if you are overreacting is to have a look at how others are treating the subject. This happened to me in primary school, i was overreacting about something but everyone else around me was acting like it was not too much of a big deal, so i decided to to tone myself down abit to a level that was like the others.