The Toxic Behaviors Displayed By Emotionally Reactive People That Ruin Relationships

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We are all human with emotions that we are entitled to feel. However, we are also responsible for how we control these emotions. This a harder task for emotionally reactive people who often react before they have fully processed what they’re even feeling.

They get caught up in the heat of the moment and are only able to see their own emotion. The problem with that is that these people don’t often see reason or others because they’re too overwhelmed with their emotions. Here’s how to note when a person doesn’t even realize they are displaying this behavior.

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They Are Easily Offended

Emotionally reactive people tend to read into everything. They have convinced themselves that the world is out to get them. Because they haven’t yet taken the time to work through the root of their emotional triggers, they find themselves easily upset by comments or behavior that isn’t targeted to hurt them.

man on his laptop on couch in the dark
Andrew Neel / Unsplash
Andrew Neel / Unsplash

They can go from a high to a low just based on one small remark or change of tone of voice. They need validation and would rather over-clarify to counteract their intuitive reaction of assuming the worse.

They Overreact To Small Situations

While most people are able to filter between small inconvenieces and big problems, emotionally reactive people see all problems as overhwelming no matter where they fall on the scale. As soon as they encounter an obstacle, their body goes into a fight or flight response and they prepare themselves for whatever threat it may bring.

woman-holding-her-head in anger and eyes squiting
David Garrison / Pexels
David Garrison / Pexels

Often being emotionally reactive doesn’t start out of nowhere and is part of a self defense mechanism that the body learns it needs to survive based on past bad experiences.

It’s Their Way Or The Highway

Emotionally reactive people need to feel as much control as possible, so they like for everything to be done exactly to their liking so that they can predict how it would play out. The more control they feel, the more they feel safe because there is no unknown that they might have to protect themselves from.

close up of man's profile squining
Mustafa ezz / Pexels
Mustafa ezz / Pexels

However, this also means that they can be controlling over others and get angry when they feel like they’re losing their grasp and are encountering variables they no longer can control. They react explosively out of anxiety the fewer things go their way.

They Feel Like A Victim To Circumstance

Because emotionally reactive people are usually stuck in a feedback loop where their toxic reactions attract back bad situations, they victimize themselves and give up. They start convincing me that there’s no point in trying because they will always end up back where they started anyway and that they are some of the unlucky ones.

an-in-blue-and-brown-plaid-dress-shirt-touching-his-hair-
Nathan Cowley / Pexels
Nathan Cowley / Pexels

However, the less they take accountability and fight their way out with healthy coping mechanisms, the less they’re able to control their reactions and break out of the pattern.

When They’re Angry They See Red

Emotionally reactive people have a bad temper. Because they’re not fully aware of the root of their issues and what triggers them, they can go from being pleasant to be around to suddenly yelling and calling people names. Sometimes, they feel rage so deeply that they feel a need to get physically agressive to release it.

Angry Man with red background looking at camera
Alex Mihai C / Unsplash
Alex Mihai C / Unsplash

This is because they feel an overhwelming charge of emotion that they don’t yet know where to channel. They need to be able to release the underlying emotions before they build up.

They Only Hear What They Want To Hear

This can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, they live life blissfully, for the most part, only noticing what benefits them. On the other hand, this behavior can feel really frustrating for people who feel like they’re talking to a wall.

lose-up-photo-of-a-woman-listening-to-music
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

This is a coping mechanism that is learned from childhood. Basically, emotionally reactive people don’t necessarily like how reactive they are but also don’t know how to control it. So they assume that if they only listen to what they want to hear, they won’t find a reason to spiral.

Not A Bad Person

Emotionally reactive people don’t mean to be angry, sensitive, not listen, or make you feel like you have to hide your own feelings or walk on eggshells. They just feel a lot of emotion deeply and haven’t yet learned how to control them.

man-with-mouth-open on dark background
Afrika ufundi / Pexels
Afrika ufundi / Pexels

Remember that if you’re an emotionally reactive person, by examining the root of your issues, you can break the pattern. If you’re in a relationship with a reactive person, you can only do so much to bring awareness to their behavior. It’s up to them to do the work, you can’t fix them.

Change Is Within Us All

Emotionally reactive people aren’t necessarily narcissists, even though narcissists tend to be emotionally reactive. the first step to breaking out of this pattern is becoming aware of it. Sometimes it takes walking away from a relationship or loved one to figure yourself out in order to make it work.

oman-in-black-tank-top-and-black-pants-sitting-on-concrete-floor in meditation
RF._.studio / Pexels
RF._.studio / Pexels

In any relationship, always look at how you feel and ask yourself: does this person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them?

Love is more than just kisses and butterflies, it’s much more than that. If you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.

Aida Maratova

Aida Maratova is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives