When we are on the path to healing from narcissistic abuse, we often overreact to situations without even knowing it. How does this happen? Well, for one, we allow our emotions to take over. But more than that, we are so used to being on the defensive that our baseline reaction is protect and preserve.
Overreacting in the aftermath of narcissistic abuse is also indicative of having formed PTSD and C-PTSD, both of which require dedicated commitment in order to heal from.
Although healing from narcissistic abuse includes the process of learning new behaviors, for a while, we continue to experience an automatic, overwhelming urge to justify ourselves, defend ourselves, and attempt to get others to see where we are coming from because we’re so used to explaining everything down to the smallest minutiae.
Once you gain control over your emotions you’ll be able to choose better reactions, which leads to better solutions.
It’s important to remember that no one is perfect. Everyone overreacts from time to time. It’s when your overreactions become the norm that you should seek a better way.
Consider the following action strategies to help you stop overreacting while you heal from narcissistic abuse:
If you have children, taking a time out is critical if you find yourself overreacting with anger towards them on a regular basis. Children who consistently feel unloved often grow up to develop either narcissistic or codependent traits.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If you find that you’re overreacting to most of life’s situations, it’s time to start with the small things. Ask yourself why you’re reacting to small situations with such negative passion.
This is a sign that there is an underlying issue you need to deal with. Are you overly stressed? Is your mind obsessing about your past? Answer these questions and solve these problems first. It’s likely you need to implement self-care into your daily routine, which would include healthy ways of processing your emotions. Hire a therapist or a coach. Plan regular movie nights instead of wearing yourself out after work. Just take it one thing at a time.
Change for The Better
Once you’ve discovered a method that works well for you, incorporate that change into your life permanently.
It’s important to expect that you will make mistakes along the way – but that’s okay! You may still overreact from time to time, but we are only human and it happens. Don’t let mistakes discourage you from jumping right back into the methods that work for you.
If you’re having trouble changing, remember to take small steps. It’s quite difficult to become a different person overnight. Try to bring an overall awareness to your life so you no longer feel the pull to overreact. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself regaining control over your emotions!
Copyright 2017 Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach
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Kim Saeed is a recognized relationship and new life educator specializing in helping narcissistic abuse survivors to heal, rebuild, find purpose, and live joyfully after No Contact. In 2013, she founded Let Me Reach, a life transformation company that teaches people to flourish after toxic relationships.