I just want to start by saying that these are two of the most infuriating statements that I have ever heard in my entire life. Not because they are infuriating to me, per se, but I know how infuriating they can be to someone that is in an emotionally stimulated state.
Most of the time when someone is upset to the level of “calm down” or they are at the stress level of “get over it”, it is because THEY are having difficulty processing some pretty significant information to THEM. This is a serious issue for THEM. However, frequently when we tell someone to “calm down” or “get over it”, it is because WE are uncomfortable with their emotional state. WE are having difficulty navigating our own emotions related to THEIR response. It has nothing to do with THEIR crisis or confusion or frustration.
Rather than telling someone to calm down, how about finding a way that honors their difficulty. A phrase that I frequently use is, “I need you to take a breath. I am having difficulty understanding what is going on.” This allows you to take accountability for your own difficulty without projecting it onto them. It also allows them the opportunity to pause to find appropriate language to express what their needs are.
I am a very laidback woman. I am a Licensed Certified Social Worker, and I have been in practice in the fields of mental health and substance abuse for over 15 years. I love what I do and I have a passion for helping to end the stigma associated with mental health.