Posts Tagged ‘solutions’

Am I Overreacting?

Monday, July 11th, 2022

Being in a relationship with a person and expressing our feelings makes us more vulnerable and open. A partner that belittles your feelings and makes you feel that you are going crazy when you point out things that make you upset, is not a partner. If they act this way, then they are not treating you as an equal and they are not making room for your feelings. I think when this occurs within a relationship, it can make you feel that you are going slowly insane; stories keep changing, things you’ve done have been made and exaggerated, and now you can’t recall if you are remembering correctly. It starts you in on this self questioning, again: am I overreacting? Especially when your partner does not give you space for your feelings, you feel as though any feelings you are having are excessive, dramatic and not needed. 

This type of self-questioning that stems from your partner’s reaction to your feelings can be exhausting and suffocating. Your partner is making your experiences seem unreliable and you then start to believe that you are unreliable. 

The truth is you are not overreacting, and you have a right to feel everything you feel on any scale you want or need to feel it. As a participant in this line of self-questioning, I’ve spent many days thinking about this in every type of situation I have been in. I may continue to obsess over every interaction and conversation to make sure I remember everything correctly, as a means to justify my emotions. But, it is important to hear and listen to that voice that tells you “Hey, I’m very happy or upset, and I am allowed to feel that emotion to its full extent.”

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Author Robert Porter goes in-depth and examines how constant emotional invalidation affects our relationships to self and individual in his article, “Effects of Emotional Invalidation” for If your partner is engaging in this type of emotional invalidation, it can make you believe you are overreacting in situations and it can impact your feelings and your relationship with your own experiences and emotions. Porter describes how emotional invalidation can happen even without purposeful intent to make it happen. And this invalidation can look like having a dismissive nature when your partner is telling you their feelings or experience, or forcing them to feel positive emotions instead of any other emotion they are feeling. Porter then discusses that in the long-term this reaction can lead to your partner hiding their feelings and not telling you their experiences or feelings. Some possible solutions to stop this invalidation, include starting to listen more deeply and recognizing that your partner is their own person and will respond differently to a situation than you might. I can honestly say having been subject to emotional invalidation in the past, I have caught myself now invalidating things that my partner is telling me about his experiences. Oftentimes, I am able to catch myself in these moments and I apologize to him and let him tell him what was happening and how he was feeling without interjecting or dismissing. I let him tell me how he feels and express in any way he wants.

Overall, if you find yourself inwardly posing the question “am I overreacting?” discuss with your partner the ways you feel that their reactions may be invalidating your own emotions. Emotional invalidation can take a toll on you as an individual, your relationship, and how we relate to our own experiences. It’s important to listen to your partner and allow space for all these feelings in your relationship.

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By: Ashley Geiser 

Ashley Geiser is a Junior studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing at Pace University. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and Co-President for Her Campus at Pace. She loves reading and editing. And when she is not reading or editing, she can be found baking in her kitchen.

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