“Help me understand…”
- When someone has a big reaction to something that seems small to you, try saying, “help me to understand…” instead of arguing with them
- Big reactions most often have roots in memories of painful experiences.
- Often a big reaction or overreaction is a response from insecurity. That’s why responding to them with empathy first is essential. What they’ve not reasoned into, they won’t be able to reasoned out of.
- I can see you’re upset and I really want to understand what’s happened. Can you help me understand your reaction to <xyz>?
- Thank you for sharing that with me. That context helps me understand why you felt that way and I will be more careful about <zyx>.
- I was a little taken aback by your reaction but now that you’ve explained, it makes a lot more sense. I hope you know that I would never intentionally hurt you or make you uncomfortable.
Dealing with Someone Who Overreacts and How to De-Escalate
Have you ever been accused of overreacting? Have you ever accused someone else of overreacting? You might think differently when you pay attention to emotional triggers and threats to energy supply.Recognizing these two things can help you understand when dealing with someone who overreacts.