How do you learn to accept your emotional reactions to situations as valid and okay?
I’m constantly second-guessing my reactions, particularly when I’m irritated, frustrated, angry, or hurt. For most of my life, people (particularly my mother, but others too) told me I was hypersensitive and overreacted to everything. If my reaction was rainbows and butterflies and unicorns crapping rainbows, I was wrong. It got even worse once I started getting dragged to therapists and psychiatrists because then people could tell me it was all in my head.
After a lifetime of being told that, it worms its way into your brain. I’m starting to feel like it isn’t true and my reactions are okay even if they’re not all shiny and happy. The problem is I constantly second-guess myself. If I have a “negative” reaction (I don’t like that term because it implies the feeling/reaction is wrong too, but it’s easier to refer to that way) I start worrying that I’m just being crazy and letting things get to me that shouldn’t bother me. And I feel like a jerk for being upset with people.
I’d really like to stop doing that–but HOW? I know on an intellectual level that my reactions are not outside the normal range of human reactions, but I still question myself constantly. That leads to letting people treat me in ways I don’t want to be treated because I’m afraid I’ll be brushed off if I express “negative” feelings. I’m not talking about major stuff like abuse, just the normal frustrations and anger of human interactions. Then I get pissed off at myself for letting people walk all over me, and that just intensifies the self-doubt.
How on earth do I break free of this?