The intricate web of trauma manifests itself unexpectedly in human emotions and behaviours. One such manifestation is the tendency to overexplain and be dramatic, often traced back to a deep-rooted need for validation and understanding. Let's explore how this inclination is a poignant response to the profound sense of not being heard and how it reflects the silent cries of a wounded soul.
My quest to be heard has been a long, jagged road and comes from both my professional and personal life. I can still recall some of the people who made me feel unheard. The manager who told me he didn't want to hear it if I can't say it in three lines or less. The organizer's who gave me 30 minutes on the agenda to present significant departmental changes, really I needed an hour. Then, put me on just before lunch, where my time was cut to 15 minutes because others were over on time. That kind of thing happened often, and seemed like no big deal at the time.
At the core of overexplaining and drama lies an insatiable hunger for validation. Individuals who have experienced past dismissals or neglect often find themselves trapped in a cycle where they believe their worth is contingent upon being heard and understood. Consequently, they resort to overexplaining, hoping the listener will finally hear their message by providing exhaustive details.
Drama, too, has its origins in the same desperate plea for recognition. When someone feels invisible or dismissed, they might resort to dramatic gestures and expressions to elicit the attention they crave. These theatrics serve as a coping mechanism, albeit an unhealthy one, providing a momentary illusion of being significant in a world that otherwise seems indifferent.
Understanding overexplaining and drama as trauma responses is crucial in fostering empathy and compassion. It illuminates the silent battles fought within the minds of those who constantly feel the need to justify their existence. Recognizing these behaviours as echoes of past wounds allows us to approach such individuals with patience and understanding, creating a safe space for them to heal.
Breaking free from the chains of overexplaining and drama requires introspection and self-compassion. It demands acknowledging the pain beneath these behaviours and seeking healthier avenues for expressing emotions. Mindfulness practices have played a pivotal role in my journey toward healing.
As a society, it is our collective responsibility to foster environments where everyone feels seen and heard. By cultivating empathy and active listening, we can create spaces where individuals no longer feel the need to resort to overexplaining or drama as desperate cries for attention. Together, we can dismantle the trauma responses that hold us captive and build a world founded on understanding and acceptance.
The tendency to overexplain and be dramatic is not merely an annoyance but a poignant expression of unhealed wounds. By recognizing these behaviours as trauma responses, we can extend the hand of empathy and support, facilitating the healing journey for ourselves and others. Let us strive to be kinder, more patient listeners, and in doing so, help rewrite the narratives of those who have longed for nothing more than to be genuinely heard.