Ways we can respond when someone else is being reactive - Hindustan Times

Ways we can respond when someone else is being reactive

By, Delhi
Aug 09, 2023 09:55 AM IST

From being curious to creating space for conversations, here are a few ways to respond when someone else starts to be reactive.

Often we come across situations when the person next to us starts to show signs of being reactive – it can be being defensive or being critical. However, when we truly care about the person, we should find a way to manage them and help them through their emotions to connect with them on a deeper level. "We’ve all experienced a moment with someone who is being reactive — whether they become defensive, critical, or start showing signs of being overwhelmed. What can you do to keep the situation constructive," wrote Therapist Sadaf Siddiqi as she explained a few things that we can do in such situations.

Ways we can respond when someone else is being reactive(Pexels)
Ways we can respond when someone else is being reactive(Pexels)

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"While it’s true that people are responsible for managing their own emotions, as humans we are wired for connection — and the ability to support someone we love through a difficult moment is truly a bonding experience," Sadaf further added. Take a look at the tips suggested by the Therapist here:

Curious: often the way they express themselves does not have to do with the way they feel about us, but the way they feel internally about something else. When we start to be curious about how they feel internally and how something is affecting them, we get more awareness about their thought process.

Create space: Creating a healthy space for conversation and for sharing emotions will enable them to come forward and talk about it. When we judge too early, we shut doors for others to be open and vulnerable to us.

Apologise: When we judge too quickly, we should apologise to the other person and make specific requests to them to help them as they navigate through the difficult emotions.

Need: Instead of assuming what is good for us, we should ask them what they need – this will create a space for the other person to be vulnerable.

Prioritise ourselves: As we focus on the emotions of the other person, we should not forget to address the needs and emotions that we have. In case we have any specific need, we should be able to talk about it and do the same.

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