Overreacting or Reacting

Over reacting… or just “reacting”

What I think is a small disappointment my Dervish will react as if the end of the world has happened. My first response is that he’s over reacting but the truth is that he is just reacting.

It is not my place to tell anyone what’s important to someone and how important it is and I suppose that’s the biggest challenge.

An intense child seems to feel things more deeply, take disappointments and frustrations harder, to the extent that people generally view their reactions as bizzare…. unexplainable. You find yourself embarrassed in public but outbursts that no one seems to understand.

I sometimes totally forget that people,(that would include my children) need to be accepted “as is”. It’s a hard skill to master and I have trouble with it in adult relationships too. I see something that doesn’t suit the way I think it should be and it’s a real struggle to get over it, look past it, accept the person as the person they are…

it’s even harder when it’s your child.

These are suggestions I found on the web and they make a lot of sense – both for the parents of intense children and for the children themselves.

I think that on some level at least, my intense child knows that he’s a little different and I’m sure it’s unsettling at times. I’m going to put these suggestions to use and see how it goes.

  • Jointly discuss the positive outcomes of being emotionally intense–i.e. sensitive to others, caring, loyal, have strong feelings
  • Cherish and celebrate diversity and individual differences
  • Think about how these traits effect a person’s perception of the world–through a different, perhaps kaleidoscopic, lens Accept the individual as is–including “bizarre” descriptions and expressions of feelings and alternative ways of viewing and doing things
  • Learn listening and responding skills to help the intense people deal with and respond to their feelings
  • Develop a feeling vocabulary–including a continuum of feeling words
  • Teach emotionally intense people to share their feelings with others when they are ready–verbally, through movement, art,
  • journaling, music, whatever
  • Teach emotionally intense people to be respectful of others’ feelings or seeming lack thereof
  • Teach individuals to find ways to change their behaviors and responses, rather than just dwell on personal failures
  • Share that intense feelings, depression, are OK
  • Teach individuals to anticipate physical and emotional responses and prepare for them – Consider attachments to people, places, things, when a change is about to occur
  • Help individuals to understand how their intense emotions may adversely affect others.
  • Encouraging journaling to express intense feelings
  • Find physical outlets for emotional energy

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