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What is REACTANCE? The Surprising Link to Your Mental Health

Imagine reactance as a feeling you get when someone tells you what to do, and you really don’t like it. It’s like when your parents tell you to clean your room, and you want to do the opposite just because they told you to. That’s reactance – it’s when you push back against being told what to do because you want to feel in control of your choices.
How is this related to your mental health?
Sometimes, people might try to make you do things or act in ways that you don’t want to. When this happens, you might feel stressed, upset, or even unhappy. That’s because reactance can mess with your mental well-being. It’s important for grown-ups and authoritative figures in your life to understand this and treat you with respect, so you don’t feel like your choices are taken away. When people respect your feelings and let you make some decisions, it can actually help your mental health get better. So, remember, reactance is about wanting to be in control of your own choices, and it’s important for feeling good in your head and heart.