Maplewood Counseling

Get Hooked Easily?

Need Help Managing Your Reactions?


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Do you get hooked easily?

Getting hooked can lead to some pretty destructive reactions internally and externally regarding interactions with others. This awful feeling can change.

Maplewood Counseling NJ


The problem with getting hooked…


Many of us get can get hooked when things don’t go the way we want or expect, often resulting in very angry and negative reactions. You’re not alone. Most of us struggle with what to do when situations and people “hook” us. Your partner does something upsetting, your children, a driver pisses you off, your family…all of it can be very challenging.

Getting hooked not only causes problems and unhappiness for you, but for those around you. From a health perspective, getting hooked results in an internal reaction that actually causes a contraction in the body as well, increasing blood pressure and/or heart rate as well. Getting hooked is bad for your mental and physical health. The emotional reactivity from getting hooked can cause a chain reaction leaving you feeling more angry, unhappy, shocked, guilty, misunderstood, and alone.


Why is it so important to (work on) not getting hooked?


It’s bad for you and those around you. Getting hooked causes a strong, emotional reaction which can cause people to blow up, criticize, name call, devalue, and can destroy close relationships.  It is possible you are misunderstanding others, feelings they did this or that on purpose to cause you to feel so lousy. It is another problem when both people in a relationship get hooked, or even you child pushes back when you get hooked. In the end,  getting hooked can eventually erode your close relationships.

The skill is learning how to work with triggers and eventually containing the response. Pausing for a period of time to interrupt that negative energy and not allow it to pick up. We understand this is not easy and takes practice, but it will improve your life, health, and relationships exponentially over time.

The reality for all of is …life is a series of challenges and there are so many things we cannot control. It’s all about how we handle plan B when things don’t go the way we wanted or expected. Inner peace is the goal regardless of so many external circumstances beyond your control. You can do this and it will make so many things better. Attitude is everything.


So how can you work on this? 


Developing more awareness is key. When people start to dip into more primitive (unaware or unconscious) ways of functioning, it might lead to acting out in very destructive ways. This can cause ther hooked person to become verbally abusive, yell and scream, name call, criticize, and want the source of your “hook” to hurt the way you are. As it to say “you are making me feel this way- this is your fault”. When people start to dip into the most primitive ways of functioning when they get hooked, thr result is physical violence and abuse. The work is trying to help people come up out of that primitive way of reacting to the difficult or challenging situation (again awarenees and slowing things down is key) , and eventually develop the skills to communicate more effectively. Working on and understanding this will eventually allow you get to healthier responses when dealing with challenges. You deserve more peace and this will help you get there.


Start by practicing with the small things. For example, become more aware of your reaction if you spill spomething or if you are in a hurry to get somewhere and you hit every red light on your way. Notice and become aware of what you feel. Slow down and take a deep breath to help you start chanigng the auto-pilot response of anger and “this should not be happening” or “this should not have happened”.  A wiser response to something like this would be understanding that life is a series of challenges, and there are so many things we can’t control. Practicing with the small things will definitely help as well as pracicing the pause.


Practice the pause.


Although an initial short pause will help slow down and evcntually stop our own reaction, it can take longer for our nervous system and emotional reactivity to subside. Sometimes it can take as much as 20 minutes, sometimes longer. At first, this is challenging since you will be working on developing more awareness and breaking a pattern or habit, but the more you practice, the easier it will be.

The end result will be more peaceful, connected, and accepting relationships and better health overall.

Anyone can develop this skill over time and it will be exponentially rewarding.


Need help?


Therapy can help you work on reducing your reaction to getting hooked.  If getting hooked is causing big problems in your relationships and or for you personally, please reach out for help.  You can break these painful patterns. We can help.

Need help managing your reactions to challenging people and situations?


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