Why Meltdowns Are So Annoying & How To Cope With Them!

The fun (*insert sarcasm*) thing about having kids is that meltdowns are an inevitable part of life. From not wanting to do chores, to siblings battles, and everything in between, you deal with your share of emotional meltdowns from your kid – and let’s be honest, they’re pretty annoying! But, why do they trigger you so much and how can you help your kid manage thee intense feelings while simultaneously being triggered yourself?

Check out the video below to find out why meltdowns trigger us so much and get some support on how to cope with them!

No time to watch the video? Read the transcript below!

I believe that meltdowns, or as some people like to call them tantrums, are really our body’s way of letting us know that we are overwhelmed. When we have meltdowns – and I’m not just talking about kids, but I’m talking about us as humans – when we have meltdowns, it’s our body’s way of letting us know that you are overwhelmed. Too many things have been going on; you’ve let too many things go; things aren’t going well for you and your body is kind of exploding into this array of emotions that they might not always come out healthy. Even though we get so annoyed, it’s literally our bodies’ way of saying, “Hey slow down, you’re overwhelmed, you need to get yourself out of this situation.”

When we take that perspective on meltdowns, whether it be with our kids, whether it be with our toddlers, whether it be with our tweens or teenagers or ourselves and other adults in our lives, it allows us to see the person differently. We can see that maybe this person isn’t trying to make my life hard – maybe this person isn’t trying to hurt me – but they’re having a really hard time, with whatever’s going on in the situation right now. And the situation can be something you’re asking them to do or it can be something that they’re trying to do themselves.

So let’s back up a little bit now that we have that perspective and let’s talk a little bit about why tantrums annoy us so much. Why is it that when someone has a meltdown we’re so annoyed.

Two Reasons Why Meltdowns Annoy Us

I want to talk about is two main reasons why meltdowns annoy us. And I want to get into that idea that meltdowns are not just specific to children, tweens, or teens. They also happen when you’re an adult too because no matter where you are on your journey being a human, you get overwhelmed with the emotions.

Emotions Are Messy

The first reason we are annoyed with meltdowns is because emotions are messy. I’ve never seen anyone have an emotion that’s clean and nice and pretty. Emotions are messy and there’s no definitive beginning or end to them; there’s no way to tame them; there’s no way to make them to be nice and pretty. Even when we’re happy and when we’re positive sometimes those emotions can be messy too. When we see someone else have meltdown, their messy emotions begin to spill out and we have to take notice. That sometimes can be really frustrating and annoying. It leaves us wondering why can’t that person just tell me what’s going on or why can’t that person just tell me how they’re feeling. And in that respect, it’s really annoying and frustrating to deal with messy emotions. Really frustrating and annoying to deal with somebody else’s messy emotions especially when you don’t know what to do for them and you don’t know how to help them through it.

It’s really frustrating to deal with someone else’s messy emotions spilling over into our lives.

Meltdowns Trigger Our Stuff

The second reason why I think meltdown are so annoying – especially when they come from the ones that we love – is because it really brings to surface our insecurities/flaws and the ways in which we can’t help that person. And when we have those negative emotions come up in us, while watching someone else also have those negative emotions, it’s really hard to be present with that person because they are triggering are our insecurities, that trigger are flaws. Their meltdown, in the sense, becomes an external manifestation of our internal flaws; our internal discrepancies. And that’s hard to deal with, it’s hard to feel; it’s hard to sit with.

Meltdowns trigger our insecurities and the ways that we cannot help.

Two Ways We Can Cope With Meltdowns

But let’s flip that over a little bit and let’s talk about two ways that we can actually learn how to cope with those issues, so that way we can guide ourselves to do a little bit better each time someone has meltdown in our house.

Develop A Feeling Vocabulary To Communicate Better

You can learn how to cope with those annoying meltdowns whether it be with yourself or with your children is: learning how to communicate better and developing everyone’s feelings vocabulary in your home. When we know how to communicate what we need and we have the words to communicate what we need, those meltdowns begin to cease. This happens because we are  saying what we need to say; we’re telling somebody the exact thing that we’re feeling; and we’re moving forward. Now the caveat to that is that is that once you and your kids start using that vocabulary, using that language, you’ve really got to get good at listening. Not just hearing the words and saying, “Okay they feel sad today.” But to really hear what your kids say to you instead of having a meltdown. When we really listen to one another and try to find solutions for how we are feeling it becomes  our way of letting everyone know what’s going on in our lives.  It becomes a different conversation than having a full arm meltdown a full arm yelling at everybody.

Develop the right words to express your feelings, communicate them consistently, and listen to what is being said.

Bring Self-Awareness Into The Equation

In the second coping strategy what you want to do is bring self-awareness into how you’re interpreting yourself during a meltdown as well as what’s going on for the other person. You want to get really serious and really conscious about what’s been triggered for you; what insecurity or what flaw is this other person’s meltdown triggering for you. In that moment you can say, “I see this flaw, I see this insecurity that’s being triggered and I’m going to put this in the on the back burner to really look and reflect on later”. Then you can  be present for your child during their meltdown, help guide them, and help them get through it Once that’s done you can go back and to what it was that triggered you, get reflective on that trigger, find out more about why it annoys you so much, and have that in your consciousness as you move forward.

Sometimes you can talk to someone else or sometimes you can just sit and meditate and reflect on it and that’ll be enough. But the overarching idea is to really bring that self awareness into your interpretation of your child’s meltdown, so that way you have more space to be present for them, help them get through it and then you go back and reflect on your own insecurities or your own flaws that were triggered during their meltdown.

Becoming aware of what triggers you when you have to manage your child’s meltdown will help you bring more awareness to the situation.

The Recap

So let’s recap. The two reasons why meltdowns annoy us so much and the two things that we can do to begin to cope with those meltdowns.

Why Meltdowns Annoy Us

  1. Emotions are messy: Meltdowns are physical manifestation of emotions and we all know that emotions are messy, they’re hard to deal with and they are hard to get through especially when they show up as intensely as they do during a meltdown.
  2. Meltdowns trigger us: Meltdowns trigger our own insecurities. When we’re watching someone else have a meltdown, it triggers our flaws, it triggers our insecurities and it makes us question whether we can help that or not. While we’re having those emotions we are kind of having that tug of war with our own needs and helping that other person get their needs met too.

How To Cope With Meltdowns

  1. Develop a feelings vocabulary to communicate: Develop a feeling vocabulary so we can communicate better and communicate our needs better – with the caveat to that is making sure that we listen when someone is telling us how they feel and what they need in a healthy way.
  2. Bring self-awareness into the equation: develop a sense of self awareness, that we begin to understand why someone else’s meltdowns triggers our own flaws and triggers our own insecurities. Once we figure out those insecurities and flaws are, we’re able to be more self aware during a meltdown and realize that when that person is having a hard time, help them get their needs met, and then go back there and address that insecurity or that flaw that came up during the meltdown.

2 thoughts on “Why Meltdowns Are So Annoying & How To Cope With Them!”

  1. Marie L-P says:

    These are really fantastic tips! I really appreciate how you brought self-awareness into the equation. I’ve totally had this experience with my kids meltdowns – part of me knows they are just something that happens, but part of me is also in panic mode as it brings up all of my social anxiety and other “stuff.” This article really helped me think about how to cope better in the future – much appreciated!!

    1. Hi Marie! Welcome to the blog! I’m glad that you enjoyed the tips in the post and that it has given you space to reflect on how to incorporate the tips into your parenting! Thanks so much for reading and for the kind words! I look forward to reading your thoughts on others posts as well!

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