Certain emotions like anger, rage, fear, panic and hurt can cause us to become overwhelmed and act irrationally. Read more for tips on how to handle emotional flooding in your relationship.
Emotional flooding happens when our nervous system goes into overdrive. This can be a common experience when we have an argument with our partners. Arguments in romantic relationships can send signals to our brain that our relationship is in trouble. When this happens, our rational thinking suffers. We might hear blame and our defenses go up causing us to sometimes accuse our partners of wrong doing and not accept any responsibility ourselves. When you recognize this happening there are a few things you can do:
Take a break – you can try to remove yourself from the situation temporarily to regain some control of your emotions or allow your partner the space to do so
Remember your partner’s good qualities — this can help you turn your attention away from the negative thoughts running through your mind
Take some time to think about what triggered this response in you or your partner to increase your awareness for future conflict situations
Relationship expert John Gottman has been studying relationships and conflict for many years. You can read more about flooding on his website and checkout the Gottman Institute for more information on improving relationships.