The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Confessions of a Chronic Over-reactor

on November 16, 2009

It’s hard to admit, but I’ll do it. I overreact. I know it. I’ve sometimes dismissed it as a by-product of how sanguine I am. I am sanguine to the CORE! I am expressive . . . . I am dramatic . . . . . I have more facial expressions to express more emotions than just about anyone I know. (I even have special voices to express these wide range of emotions.) C’mon, look at my Facebook badge to the left. Who in the world posts pictures like that of themselves?? I do!

Tyler has gotten used to it. He knows that when I roll my entire head with mouth agape eyes and say, “AAAAAAAAGH,” that I’m really just being me. I don’t mean anything by it. But I figured something out over the weekend that wasn’t fun to realize.

My over-reacting is driving my daughter nuts. Which is causing her to not share things in which she thinks I’ll have an emotional reaction to.


My daughter is a classic phlegmatic. And if you know anything about the four temperaments, she’s the polar opposite of her sanguine mother. Sometimes I don’t know how the poor girl stands me. We had a talk this weekend and we agreed that she’ll say what she wants to say in one sentence and I’ll quit over-reacting.

That night Tyler and I attended our parents of adolescents class at church. And as God would have it, the night was all about communication and inappropriate emotional, limbic responses. Great. I decided that my over-reacting WAS really over and wouldn’t everyone in my house be so happy now that Mom is actively working on changing? Because couldn’t they just SEE the difference? Wouldn’t they look back on this time and remember how Mom suddenly got her act together and be so happy, encouraged and thankful?

The only problem with this is that if I don’t talk to anyone about the changes I’m going to make, there’s no one to keep me accountable. There’s no openness with my kids, no vulnerability and no needing to admit that I was wrong. And I’m firmly convinced that if we try to make our kids believe we are perfect and always right, that all it does is screw them up in the end.

OUCH! (Where do these stinking thoughts come from, anyway?)

So I talked with each of them separately, admitted I had been wrong, asked for forgiveness and vowed to actively work (not try, I *hate* that lousy excuse) on being more even keeled. So, if you have a chance to send up a prayer for me, I’d appreciate it. I know my over-reacting is just a learned behavior and not an unchangeable part of who I am.

And hopefully we’ll all be happier in the end.


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