Sunday, July 15, 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

Tell Me About It: Wifeís beefs with family are indefensible

Q: My wife occasionally picks fights with members of my family of origin, especially my sister. What am I supposed to do about that? The general guidance is that protecting my spouse from my family of origin is my responsibility, but it was my wife t...
Published: 07/15/18
Rascal Flatts talks longevity, the road, and picking the perfect opener

Rascal Flatts talks longevity, the road, and picking the perfect opener

There was a time, believe it or not, when Rascal Flatts was considered cutting-edge country. Okay, "cutting-edge" might be pushing it ó the trioís wholesome, harmony-laden style was never all that controversial. Still, when you survey the pop- and R&...
Published: 07/13/18
8 things to do this weekend: Sam Smith, SharkCon, Extreme Mud Wars, deal at Chihuly

8 things to do this weekend: Sam Smith, SharkCon, Extreme Mud Wars, deal at Chihuly

Concert Sam Smith and Cam: On Friday, Sam Smith (Stay With Me) is coming to Tampa with opening act Cam, whose latest country single Diane is one of Nashville’s most rollicking of the past year. Smith is the headliner but both acts are worth ca...
Published: 07/13/18

Tell Me About It: Decision to adopt must be her own

Q: Iím a 45-year-old single woman who is financially secure and a self-described introvert. I am happy being single, have a decent job, own a home, and have created a good life for myself. I badly want to adopt or foster a child on my own and I have ...
Published: 07/12/18
Top things to do this week: SharkCon with Richard Dreyfuss, Mud Wars

Top things to do this week: SharkCon with Richard Dreyfuss, Mud Wars

SHARKCON: Richard Dreyfuss and Sharknado starsIn its fifth year, SharkCon has expanded from a weekend all about sharks with a touch tank, ocean bounce house and science talks, adding a comic con element with celebrity appearances by Richard Dreyfuss,...
Published: 07/11/18
5 things to do under $5 this week: Chihuly glass art, Eichmann exhibit, Back to School Bash

5 things to do under $5 this week: Chihuly glass art, Eichmann exhibit, Back to School Bash

1 Chihuly Anniversary Weekend: To celebrate its eighth anniversary, admission is $5 at the Chihuly Collection of glass art from famed artist Dale Chihuly. In addition to the permanent collection of glass art, a special exhibition is on display. "Stor...
Published: 07/11/18

Tell Me About It: Tensions mount between adult sisters

Our daughter "Annie" has moved back home at age 33 to save some money while doing postdoc work and teaching college courses. She contributes to household expenses. Our daughter "Bonnie" has moved back home at 29 after a sudden breakup, bringing our 1...
Published: 07/11/18

Tell Me About It:

Introvert wonders if it has gone too farQ: Does there reach a point on the introversion scale where youíve gone too far? I work from home and rarely see other people besides my wife. Iím finding more and more that I like it that way and donít really ...
Published: 07/10/18

Tell Me About It: Mom suspects boyfriend controls daughter

Q: My daughter and her boyfriend moved into my house a few months ago because they were having financial difficulties and I wanted her to be able to finish her degree, which she did in May. I started noticing how little she wanted to communicate with...
Published: 07/10/18

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 unadu...
Published: 07/10/18