We all have our own style of behaviour and this can change when one is around different people and based on how one feels. As one grows and changes as person; this can also lead to ones behaviour altering.
And there will be times when ones behaviour is a response to situations and other times when it is a reaction. If it is a response it will be coming from a place of awareness and self control. And if it is a reaction, it will be coming from a place of unawareness and lack of self control.
Part Of Life
There are always likely to be times when one reacts in life. And yet if this has become something that takes over one’s life - it will create problems.
It may be something that affects ones relationships with friends, family, colleagues and in ones intimate relationship. If one has children they may also end up in the cross fire and even pets.
This is often described as something that should be low on the scale and end up being way up. So this could be over reacting in a way that is an eight, then it reality it was only a two for example.
To others it is clear that one is over reacting and behaving disproportionately. However, unless one is unaware of this themselves, they will continue to do the same things.
What this kind of behaviour can lead to and create are extreme consequences. Emotionally this could be to do with aggression, rage and showing heightened levels of anger. It can also affect the other side of things and include: sadness, rejection, guilt, anxiety, grief, shame and being hysterical.
The first examples are emotions that usually get projected outwards and the second list are emotions that usually become interjected. Although they are different, they can both create reactive behaviour.
Reactive behaviour is then created through one acting on these emotions. And this means that other people are exposed to the emotions as a result of them building up. If it wasn’t for the reactive behaviour, other people may not even know that such strong emotions exist within the person.
Short Term Solutions
It is also possible for people to manage these emotions in a way that leads to short term solutions and therefore minimizes the reactive behaviour. Certain rituals and habits then alleviate the emotions, like a pressure valve. But this won’t last for long and needs to be constantly undertaken.
A Closer Look
So if ones behaviour to others seems completely out of proportion, it means that something within the individual is out of sync. Based on their interpretations of what they are experiencing, their reaction seems appropriate.
There may even be times when they look back and can’t understand why they did what they did. And there will always be others who can’t see anything wrong with how they reacted. It will all depend on how aware the person is.
The ego mind interprets things based on the associations that it has formed. This means that how something is interpreted is a subjective thing. And will be the result of everything one has experienced up until that point.
So even though to another person it may be an overreaction, based on their ego minds associations of the experience, it may be interpreted as the right and only way to behave.
The challenge is that the interpretations that are made from the ego minds associations may be completely wrong and this is what is leading to the reactive behaviour.
Once the experience has been interpreted by the ego mind to match these associations, it triggers the emotions and this provides the fuel for the behaviour. But these emotions don’t just come out once and then there done. The same occurrence appears again and again.
And no matter whether these emotions are released or not; they are always bubbling under the surface and ready to rise at any moment. A weed can be cut off, but it will soon grow back.
These are typically emotions that have been repressed for long periods of time. And these emotions won’t simply disappear; they need to come out in some way. The body is constantly pushing them to the surface and looking to release them.
This means that the ego mind will constantly be looking for situations that will allow for a release to occur, or it will just interpret situations in a way that will lead to a release.
Traumatic experiences in ones adult life can be a factor here. And so can traumatic experiences that one had as a child. No matter what created them or when it was; the body naturally wants to release them.
However, the ego mind wants to avoid them at all costs and will do all it can to get away from them. All kinds of defence mechanisms will be used to do this. This is not a bad or negative thing per se; it is just what the ego mind does to ensure survival.
And as the ego minds main function is to keep one alive, from this point of view it is a wonderful thing. The problem is that although the mind may have pushed them out of conscious awareness and forgotten that it has forgotten about what happened; the body has not and never will.
This means that these emotions have not been dealt with and reacting to them is not dealing with them. To repress them or to react to them are two sides of the same coin.
Although the mind also uses these defence mechanisms to gain a sense of control; it only leads the opposite happening. By running away from the emotions, one ultimately ends up enslaved to them. During the time of the traumatic occurrence it enabled one to survive, but as time passes it only creates problems.
These two options of reaction or repression will not lead to any kind of growth or awareness. This is why therapists are so important when it comes to dealing with repressed emotions.
As the ego minds tendency is to avoid them altogether, being supported by someone who is trained in such matters will enable one to go where they would not have gone by themselves. This is what the word ‘guru’ basically means - to shine the light for others.
These emotions have become trapped due to the avoidance of them, they need to be faced and released. This doesn’t mean endlessly going over them or becoming consumed by them. It means facing them with awareness. And if this is done properly, they will be released.
And there are many types of therapists; to the more traditional therapies to ones that are classed as healing techniques. I would say they all have their place - it all depends on what one feels is the right option for them and if the type of therapy is actually working.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.