“O” is for Overreaction

“But maybe I’m just overreacting.”  I cannot tell you how many times I have repeated this sentence to myself.  I could have had my whole life savings stolen, filed a police report, and then claimed that I was ‘just overreacting.’

As women, I believe we’re conditioned to believe that we’re overly dramatic and sensitive human beings.  Society and cinema have molded women into possessing two distinct roles: emotional and emotionless.  If a woman does not possess the stereotypical emotional and feminine qualities, then she is deemed as a bitch.  If a woman is emotional and displays feminine-like qualities, she is seen as dependent and docile.

As a woman, I don’t mind being called ‘emotional’.  Of course, I’m emotional.  If I lacked emotions or empathy, I’d be a psychopath.  We shouldn’t have to tell ourselves or others that we’re overreacting.  In actuality, we’re reacting with our intuition or our current state of mind.  If we didn’t react at all; again, we would either be psychopaths or robots.

Now more than ever, women need to overreact.  We need to listen to our gut, stand up for ourselves, and make decisions that we know are right even if the outcome is not favored by all.

According to best-selling author and world-renowned security specialist, Gavin de Becker, both men and women have the ability to prevent most crimes with one small gift.  That gift is fear.  Becker states, “We get a signal prior to violence.  There are pre-incident indicators. Things that happen before violence occurs.”

I have been through some haunting ordeals that I would not wish upon anyone.  In all these situations I have felt a sense of fear and discomfort prior to the incident.  Despite coveting these feelings of discomfort, I somehow managed to convince myself that I was overreacting.  Thus, instead of following my intuition, I braved a smile and ladylike demeanor and allowed an unfortunate incident/s to prevail.

I have been raised to be mindful and polite to others.  While I will uphold to this behavior, I will no longer act in the way society expects me to.  Becker states, “the way women are conditioned to be nice all the time can lead them into dangerous situations.”  It’s crucial to utilize that fear or reluctance to your advantage because it will not only save your life, but it will change it as well.

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