Reactivity phsycology can be defined as change in the behavior of individuals when they become aware of the fact that they are being observed by the people around them. The reaction can be positive or negative depending on the way that person has oriented themselves in the world.
A little bit of reactivity is inevitable, in fact it is essential in most human interactions otherwise things don’t proceed. The problem happens when you are too reactive. Excessive reactivity can cause people to have poor communication with the people around them.
You probably have already seen at least some kind of example of excessive reactivity phsycology, which is a lot of times labeled as overreacting to a certain person or a situation. And the results of this overreaction are not good.
Below are some useful tips for people who want to manage their reactivity in an effective way
Become Aware of your Sensory Perceptions
Sensory perception is a human-being’s ability to become aware of its sensory organs and to process the information that they get from it. How does it fit in with reducing reactivity?
Well, when you are in reactive mode, all your attention is outwards. You are not paying attention to what is happening inside of you. At this moment, if you become aware of what you are seeing, listening to, touching, and even smelling or tasting, it can help you slow down and become calm.
Breath and become aware of your surroundings. Once you do that, you’d be able to approach the situation in a calm & collected way.
Stop Taking Things Personally
When you tie your sense of identity with a person, thing or situation, you consider all aspects of it as personal. This is because you have invested yourself in that thing and when something else comes along and threatens your identity, you become reactive trying to preserve and protect that false identity.
The only way out of this is through disidentification. If you are constantly aware of the impermanence of this world, you won’t invest yourself in things that don’t matter. This is would help you stop taking things personally. You’d be able to operate in the world with a sense of greater meaning.
When you are being excessively reactive, you don’t quite understand what is going on inside you. You just have to protect your ideas and you’d be willing to go to any lengths for that, even if it costs you in the long run.
Mindfulness offers you a gateway of freedom from reactivity phsycology. This practice is about becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings, and acknowledging them first before you go on and do something about them. Mindfulness can help reduce stress and make you feel calm in reactive situations.
Understand your Reactive Patterns
If you are the kind of person who is excessively reactive and is willing to make changes, you can start by figuring out your stressors. This can help you understand the entire reactive process that happens within you.
Once you have figured out a specific reactive pattern in yourself, the rest is about noticing it when it comes up the next time. Once you notice it, a new dimension of choice comes in front of you. You can choose not to be reactive in that moment. Click here to learn more about the basis of reactivity in psychology.
Reactivity comes from making assumptions. Whether you are sitting alone or in a heated argument with someone, if you find yourself being reactive, then you are probably not asking questions.
You need to effectively communicate to the person you are talking to, to figure out exactly what they are saying. Effective communication is essential for de-escalation and for becoming non-reactive. Instead of making assumptions and reaching to conclusions, ask questions to further the conversation in an effective way.
Seek Professional Help
If you can’t seem to control or manage your reactivity, seeking professional help is the way to go. A mental health professional will help you figure out the origin of your reactivity and they would give you tools and strategies for being less reactive. But ultimately, it is all going to be up to you. Just keep in mind that it will get better with time, provided that you are actively trying to be non-reactive when you are engaged in your daily routine.