The Problem with Guilt Part 3: We Overreact
Let’s review: we say we feel guilty. Our brains process guilt with doing something wrong. If we have done something wrong, then we must work to make it right. Unfortunately, we haven’t REALLY done anything wrong so we find it’s impossible to make things right. Out of frustration, we simply try harder. And that is when we overreact.
We believe things are much worse than they really are. And often, when reality doesn’t fit what we are thinking, we write our own story. Believe me, I know. I have done this. Something happens, I blow it out of proportion & I overreact. Unfortunately, when I overreact, I tend to trigger my asthma. Not good. Sigh!
Anyway, we can create drama if we aren’t careful. People around us can be cast in our drama. Our child asks us to do something with them. We say, no, we can’t do it right now. Now in reality, they’re fine with that. They say OK & go off to do something else. Then the mind games begin. Soon we convince ourselves that the poor child is devastated because we said no. We believe we have disappointed them. We apologize for letting them down. And they give us a puzzled look because they have completely forgotten the whole thing.
Oh, Jean Ann, that’s just far fetched! We never let our imaginations run away like that! Sure you do. you just don’t realize it. The whole thing happens quickly & without you even know about it. It begins in our relationships when we read too much into things the other person says or does & becomes even more of a problem when we become parents, especially moms. We are so worried about doing wrong by our children, hurting them over the long term that we overthink things.
STOP THAT! 🙂
Not only is overreacting harmful to us, it is expensive! More about that in the next part!