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How do I know if I'm overreacting?

88 Answers
Last Updated: 11/14/2020 at 11:47am
How do I know if I'm overreacting?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Michael Hofrath, Ph.D. Candidate

Pre-Licensed Professional

The only way to the other side of pain is to walk through it rather than around it. Life is a continual journey. Sometimes we get stuck. I will help you get unstuck!

Top Rated Answers
March 7th, 2018 9:05am
If your yelling and waving your hands screaming and yelling getting in people's faces driving fast cussing.
April 11th, 2018 6:07pm
Ask a friend or a listener! Its important to find someone objective though. Worse come to worse you can do it yourself, but you gotta be objective!
May 25th, 2018 10:41am
You are in control of your own feelings, so you're the one who decides if a situation is bad enough to cry about it or not, for example. You shouldn't feel like you're overreacting just because someone else would react differently. Although sometimes maybe anxiety can lead you to exaggerate a little, you need to step out of that mindset and think clearly.
June 17th, 2018 7:21am
Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, and it's perfectly normal. A good way of realizing if you are overreacting is by taking a second to take a step back from the situation. You can try to put yourself in the shoes of the other person and evaluate if the way you are reacting is just.
June 20th, 2018 4:40pm
First, evaluate the situation. Clear your head of any bias and think of the situation as a neutral person. Think about what everyone else did, and what you did/thought. If you feel as if you are when you look at yourself in a 3rd person point of view, maybe you are. Take deep breathes and asses the situation again. React accordingly this time.
June 27th, 2018 1:13am
I can know that only if others find it over I think others can notice that better than us but of course they should be people who love and care about us
July 1st, 2018 7:21pm
You want to show the patient care without giving them an artificial environment. A few habits that may indicate that you are overreacting include: -Too many exclamation marks. A Listener may use exclamation marks to indicate surprise, but overusing them may give the impression that the patient is being treated as a child, and not taken seriously. -Excessive apologies towards a Patient's situation. You want to connect and sympathize with your patient, however, excessive apologies may begin to sound artificial, or even make the patient feel sorry for themselves, which is something Listeners want to avoid. We want to provide attention as well as help them prove that they are the masters of their situation, not the damsels in distress. -Judgement. Listeners on 7 Cups want to avoid judging the decisions of our patients, for that is not our purpose.
July 14th, 2018 2:06am
No one overreacts, that's just how you react, everyone does it differently just because you dont react the same as others doesn't mean that you are "overly" showing your emotions
July 25th, 2018 6:14pm
We all have our own ways to cope with different things and it is to react in a way that comes naturally to you
October 4th, 2018 10:47pm
Honestly, we don't know we overreact until someone has told us we did or we see how the situation unfolds and find out ourselves that we overreacted. It's a very normal thing, and everyone does it. I wouldn't take it too seriously, but if you find yourself thinking you do it a lot, try to find exercises or even step yourself a side and just remind yourself maybe this situation isn't that crazy that we think it is. Sometimes we just need to slow ourselves down and breathe in and just act as if this is a small bump in the road and not the end of the world. Most of the time it all happens just because we care a lot of/about something, in which case you have nothing to feel ashamed about. Just remind yourself, maybe this moment isn't so crazy right now and think light of it and I'm sure that'll make things better. I wish the best of luck for you! :)
October 26th, 2018 3:37am
A good trick to catch yourself if you think you're overreacting is to force yourself to stop speaking. Instead, take a deep breath. In the heat of the moment, a racing mind will spur incoherent thoughts all on its own and if at anytime your lips have physically stopped moving but your mind is still adding on to the same line of conversation, then you are most likely overreacting or overthinking the situation. Certain physical reactions such as hyperventilating or even twitching can also be a quick sign that we need to slow down. The key is to diffuse a reaction before it blows over.
October 28th, 2018 9:46pm
You will realise if you are overreacting once you have calmed down, had time to breathe and think. Overreaction usually happens because of a certain situation that has made you lose your cool, so to observe and evaluate your response you have to take a step back. Breathe, calm down and focus. Put yourself into the shoes of the other people around you or the person you are having an argument with to try and get an idea of how they might feel. How do they see the situation? Once you are calm, you will be able to make well rounded rational decisions and avoid overreacting.
November 16th, 2018 12:40pm
It can be difficult to tell if we are overreacting because we tend to be biased towards thinking the worst in both situations as well as about ourselves. A couple ways to just double check your thoughts and decisions start with either visualizing or hearing your thought process. Talking to a friend, family member, or listener and just explaining your viewpoint will help two-fold. First, the other person will be able to help go through things in a rational manner. Secondly, you'll be able to hear yourself! Being able to just say it out loud will help you filter through everything. Another way is to write it all down. I recommend doing it on lined paper and to skip lines. I hope this helps
April 13th, 2019 1:25am
It is very inlikely you yourslef know at the moment that you are overeacting. Because at the moment we are so focused on the thing that happened, we forget to see the options or choices we have to get out of the situation. But after some time we realise that we have overreacted, so what you can do, is think about it afterwards and understand those behaviour. Once you do, you'll know when you are overreacting and over time it will become a habit. You need to seperate your reaction from your emotions because when we are emotional we tend to forget logic.
June 14th, 2019 6:01pm
Sometimes it's best to try and find another perspective. If you were in this person's shoes, or even in the shoes of an onlooker, how would you feel about the situation? Often, you can very easily tell when you are overreacting but it's easy to ignore your own advice. Try to make sure you feel calm and to approach the problem willing to find a calm solution; this way, you will be able to tell whether you're approaching it in a way that could be considered an overreaction. For me, there are definitely circumstances I've experienced where a small part of me is telling me that I'm overreacting and the best thing I can do is just listen to my inner conscience, try to calm myself down, and then approach the problem from a different, less intense standpoint
July 11th, 2019 9:03pm
Well, this one’s a tricky one. We often realize that we’ve been overreacting after we are done overreacting, which is not necessarily a good thing because the potential, hypothetical damage had already been done, and it might be too late to fix it. I personally try to recognize my behavior of overreacting (before someone else points it out, that is) by looking for certain patterns in my behavior that I have been repeating in situations where I’m overwhelmed with uncertainty, confusion, worry, or dissatisfaction. I do have specific way of reacting before it even turns into overreacting, and those micro reactions can often be indicators of overreacting in near future.
November 17th, 2019 5:10am
I know I am overreacting when I start feeling hot under my collar, am anxious to get across my point of view before letting the other person to do the same. I start to become irritated. I use typical words like "I know what I am talking about" I have seen this before" My mind starts to shut out reason, breathing becomes shallower and there is an urge to raise my voice. I repeat myself over and over again without realizing that it is the same things I am saying but using different words. At the end of the episode it does dawn on me that the response could have been simpler, more empathetic and would have served the purpose of assuaging the other persons feelings much better.
December 28th, 2019 12:30am
It will come with time and self-reflection. Think about situations where you think you overreacted or someone said you did it. How do you feel about it? Were there other ways to react to this situation or solve it? Do you think that your behavior was led purely by emotions or it was rather rational? How would you feel if another person would react the way you did? What are the consequences of your behavior? Were they worth it? If you see that there are ways to improve, work on that. Come up with the ways of self-control that would work for you when situation starts to get heated. You may count to 10 or ask another person for time-off to reflect and process your emotions. Next time you feel that your emotions are taking over, use these means to take the control back.
January 24th, 2020 4:37am
Overreacting usually means the situation that is bothering you isn't rational. Rational thinking is when you have a reason to be stressing about something. When you stress about something Irrational, it means you're stressing about something that isn't necessarily something you should be thinking about so stressfully. When you stress about a test, that is rational stressing. When your boyfriend goes out with his work buddies and doesn't text for 30 minutes and you worry if he's cheating, thats irrational stressing. If you can calm your stress a little and manage the anxiety just enough to where you can determine if its rational thinking or irrational thinking, thats the best way to know. :)
January 25th, 2020 7:19pm
I know I’m overreacting to a trigger when I feel like I’m losing control of the situation. If I feel the onset of anxiety I pause and evaluate what’s really going on to prevent overreactions but just being a human being means that occasionally this will happen despite my efforts to thwart the event. Additionally, if I’m thinking too much about a situation that is a good indicator for me that I’m overreacting. It is sometimes difficult to control our emotions when we feel triggered. Being triggered sets us off and we immediately become defensive. Being defensive is a defense mechanism to protect our emotional well being
May 10th, 2020 12:21am
Write it down. When we write, we tend to write down things that we wouldn't normally put a whole lot of thought into, but still deserve some attention. When there's a problem, our brains can only focus on so much of it at once and we can become blind to other factors. When you write it out, you can see all of the factors at play and get a better assessment of the issue at hand. It's easy to push down a thought that you don't want to consider, it's not as easy when it's written in ink. Write it out, take some time, think it over, and then consider it all again. If you're still upset then, you probably aren't overreacting.
May 28th, 2020 3:43pm
I often do or say things in the heat of the moment when my emotions are high. Take a moment to look back on the situation and ask yourself if you would make the same decision again, when emotions are less high. If you would you are likely not overacting, just standing by your values. If no, then it might be worth to reconsider your reaction in the situation. Moving forward try to take a few moments to pause and breathe before deciding on a path forward, emotions can be blinding at least for me. By taking emotions out we often make clearer decisions and choices.
July 18th, 2020 6:27pm
I would know if I am overreacting by responding to patient and not seeing what is presented. I may go off topic based on what I assume or what I experienced. I may also not think through well and say things that is inappropriate for the situation. I could overthink the situation and may bring out my feelings (such as sadness, anger, happiness, frustration) and end up making the other person uncomfortable. This person may never want to approach me next time, be upset, have close-minded, have ill-feeling toward me or many never bring up any concerns they have or talk to me.
August 16th, 2020 12:20am
There is one thing I usually do to know if what I'm going through deserves all the drama or not. First I talk to myself out loud and say what's bothering me, that usually help me clear up my thoughts and see what is worth the trouble and what is not. You can also write down your thoughts ,that also helps when you see your thoughts on a piece of paper is always better than in your head. Also try reacting to the situation from the other's person point of view and imagine what they would think, that could make you see a bigger picture.
August 28th, 2020 2:28am
I know I’m overreacting if I feel like the situation is a personal attack. If I get too caught up in my own head and forget to empathize with others I tend to overreact to a situation. I overreact when I’m already stressed out about something else, it feels like tunnel vision. I know I need to sit back, take a few deep breaths, get out of my own head space and think about how the other person is feeling and why they would act that way. My feelings when I over react are not always based on reality.
September 10th, 2020 4:53pm
I know I'm overreacting when my emotions are heightened and I'm at a point where I can't express myself any further. I also come to understand that my overreaction isn't benefitting anyone and possibly is making the situation worse and exaggerated. I then come to the conclusion that I haven't taken a step back from the problem and further assess the situation by taking into consideration the feelings of all parties involved. Additionally, I realize that I am so consumed with how I'm feeling, that I am ignoring others' feelings. All the rage and emotions cloud my judgement and I see with newfound clarity in the inappropriate reaction I may have by overreacting.
October 22nd, 2020 9:00am
When we say overreactiion, first of all what does that mean, it can mean we are giving into our emotional side, that can be good and also bad depending on the circumstances. It is infact good to share and be emotional at times and to open up to people , it is good to share your worries in which you would afterwards feel relieved. A bad way of overreacting would be a point where, you constantly feel hurt from others if they.. Let's say not exceed some expectations of ours, then we also tend to overreact. An overreaction would also be when we entirely get devoured by our emotional side to a point where we cannot rationalise anymore and we are just stuck in that hole where we are deeply hurt and we tend to victimise ourselfs, without beeing able to see the point of other people. In summary It is very important to be able to keep our balance and to not give into emotions so much to a point where we cannot rationalise. It is important to be aware and consciouss and to be able to understand why are we acting out the way we are. I gave only one to two examples here, ofcourse that is not all, there are still other roots and patterns into why we overreact.
November 11th, 2020 6:56pm
General consensus of other peoples reactions can give you a relatively good measure of if you are overreacting to a certain situation or not. But obviously, you can't judge this based on one persons opinion! But if it is a situation that can be generalised somewhat, then getting the point of view (or response) from others should give you a good mid-point. Also, listen to your gut. Generally if you are having an emotion overreaction to a situation, you probably already know that in yourself. Similarly, you also have a gut feeling when you are NOT overreacting, but someone might accuse you of it. So listen to your inner voice and be honest with yourself as well.