How Emotional Reactivity Causes Conflict - Deepstash
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Emotional Reactivity

Emotional Reactivity

This is the behavior that makes it difficult to stay positive around negative people. It's where we tend to overreact negatively to normal situations due to stress, exhaustion, or an emotional disorder.

Just as how we offend other people because we feel offended and both sides of the dynamic think that they're merely reacting to the other. It happens in any relationship, familial or social.


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This is the extreme form of emotional reactivity. What happens is that:

  • We tend to recall past disputes with revised dialogues (when they said this, I should've said that);
  • We imagine arguments that haven't taken place yet; and
  • We feel that other people make us angry and are trying to get on our nerves.

Emotional reactivity spreads as quickly as lightning due to the salience of negative emotions and their vast contagion.


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Feelings Vs Accurate Perception

Feelings Vs Accurate Perception

Negative emotions like anger and anxiety are processed much quicker than rational judgment. We are filled with confirmation bias that makes us overlook contradicting evidence.

Most of the thought process during this behavior is about justifying what we're feeling rather than testing the reality of its perceptual influence.


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Breaking The Reactive Dynamic

Whenever we realize that the conversation is going downhill, it is important to ask ourselves these questions:

  1. What is this person reacting to? Are they perceiving me to be disrespectful, biased, or narcissistic?
  2. Am I acting like the kind of person I want to be?

We must remember to act according to our deeper values instead of blindly reacting to situations and always ask the other person to do the same.


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