Do you fly off the handle for “no reason”? Have you been accused of being “hot-headed”? When the emotional intensity and severity of your behavior doesn’t match the situation at hand, you are overreacting.
There are two kinds of overreactions: external and internal. External overreactions are visible responses that others can see (for example, lashing out in anger, throwing your hands up and walking away from a situation). Internal overreactions are emotional responses that remain inside of you that others may or may not be aware of. Examples of internal overreactions are replaying a situation over and over in your head, wondering if you said the right thing, or overanalyzing a comment made by a friend or loved one.
In her book Stop Overreacting: Effective Strategies for Calming Your Emotions, author Dr. Judith P. Siegel suggests asking yourself the following questions to assess whether you have a problem with overreacting.