Emotional Reactivity and How to End the Cycle, With Active Listening – MMHC

When we feel stressed, angry, or hurt, we tend to react impulsively. We are in a state of fight-or-flight and tend to react emotionally, that is, to overreact.  That overreaction is emotional reactivity.

In that moment, our perceptions of the situation are altered. The emotional charge prevents us from seeing the situation for what it is. Instead, we react. At this point, there is no listening going on anymore. Our emotions and defenses are driving our behaviors.

Slowing down and actively listening are essential to ward off emotional reactivity. When we listen actively, we are attempting to take in what the other is saying at face value. The goal is understand the message without letting our own biases, thoughts and emotions get in the way.

What is Emotional Reactivity and How to End the Cycle – MMHC