Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Knowing how to respond to overreactions

Q: My boyfriend and I are both avid readers. He decided to read a new book, which I have already read. When he pulled out his book, I said, "That book is wild! I think you are going to like it."

He got upset that I ruined his chance at having an unadulterated first impression while reading it. I replied, "Iím sorry you feel that way, but I really didnít mean to ruin anything, and I donít think I did ruin anything ó this author has a wild writing style." This, in his eyes, was a non-apology, which I admitted it was.

It led us to a conversation about how beholden the offender ought to be to apologize when they think there has been an overreaction. I know overreaction is in the eye of the beholder, but even my boyfriend admitted his reaction was a bit much.

If someone overreacts, can the offender let them know they think that? Or does it just totally depend on the situation?

Wild Readers

A: If anything, itís the opposite ó it totally depends on the aggregate.

When you take each situation individually, thereís always a way to spin it into one personís overreaction, or, from the other side, one personís dismissiveness of the otherís feelings. Especially when both of you think youíre right, it can be hard to tell who actually is ó and in that little gap of doubt is where so many abusers or potential abusers plant seeds of self-doubt.

When you take situations as a group, though, you get a remarkably clear picture of overreactions and how to respond to them.

Letís say an avid-reader friend has one overreaction to one generic comment on one book in one situation. In that case, the apt response forms itself. "[pause, raise eyebrows] "You OK?"

If a friend overreacts on a fairly regular but also unpredictable basis, rooted in an expectation of mind-reading believed to be legitimate and justified, then itís time to form a different response:

Know manipulation when you see it, get out as soon as you can.

Comments
Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

Mark your calendar for these Halloween events

13 Ugly Men Halloween PartyThese "ugly" men sure know how to party with three floors offering new tricks and treats, DJ dancing and a light show making the 10th annual Halloween party a "Party with a Purpose." Benefits Beat NB. 8 p.m. Oct. 26. Yborís...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tell Me About It: Frequently displaced wife has had enough moves

Q: I have been married to my second husband for 24 years. We have a 16-year-old and I have two adult children.I have moved seven times in 17 years for his job. He didnít have to quit and take another job, but they were opportunities for him to climb ...
Published: 09/19/18
Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Where to find kid-friendly, not-so-scary Halloween fun

Spare the gore and take the kids to these family-friendly Halloween parties planned at theme parks and attractions in the coming weeks. Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa The weekend nighttime Halloween party at ZooTampa at Lowry Park returns with...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Busy couple seeks ways to downsize for the future

Q: Over a decade, my salary has tripled (Iím quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and ó because Iím so frequently tired or short on time ó my "outsourcing" has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker,...
Published: 09/18/18

Tell Me About It: Parents want bully brother to be his best man

Q: Iím getting married. Thatís awesome. However, my parents want me to ask my brother to be my best man. The idea of letting my brother, whoís spent his whole life being the biggest jerk he can manage, stand up and give a speech about me makes me wan...
Published: 09/17/18

Tell Me About It: Mom is frustrated by teenís dislike of academics

Q: I have a 15-year-old son who is obviously bright but hates school. My husband and I canít helicopter him to success because (a) we donít want to be helicopter parents, and (b) he has developed ninja-like skills when it comes to evading any attempt...
Published: 09/14/18

Tell Me About It: In search of ways to stop the family over-talker

Q: During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation ...
Published: 09/13/18
Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens reveals plans for Tigris, Florida's tallest launch roller coaster

Busch Gardens will open Florida’s tallest launch coaster in spring 2019, company officials announced Wednesday. The triple-launch, tiger-themed roller coaster called Tigris will hurl riders 150 feet into the sky, turn them upside down and swirl...
Published: 09/12/18

Tell Me About It:

Mom-to-be decides who will join her in deliveryQ: I am six months pregnant with my first child. Iíve been fixated a bit on who to have in the delivery room with me, I think because itís one of the few elements I can control in this pregnancy. Should ...
Published: 09/12/18
Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Tampa’s first KittyCon is coming, and cat lovers are purring

Kitten Lady and the owners of Cole & Marmalade will be at KittyCon.
Published: 09/11/18