Emotional Flooding


In the previous post we reference emotional flooding, however let’s take a deeper dive into it. 


According to the Gottman Institute flooding is: a sensation of feeling psychologically and physically overwhelmed during conflict, making it virtually impossible to have a productive and problem solving discussion. It can feel like your temperature is increasing, your stomach is churning, fists are clenching, vision is narrowing and you cannot hear or process what your partner is hearing. This usually occurs during the middle of a conflict or disagreement with your partner. 


Psychologist Dr. John Gottman describes the difference between emotional flooding and managing your emotions is the magnitude of your emotions. He explains that flooding can cause your nervous system to activate the sympathetic nervous system therefore decreasing the activity in the part of your brain that is specific to higher cognition. 


Check out the next post for how to counteract the feelings of emotional flooding and return to a productive conversation with your partner during a time of conflict.

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