Why We Overreact?

by | Aug 17, 2020 | Public Speaking | 6 comments

PS: Resharing Old Story

As you know, every two to three months I go on at least one solo trip to break the monotony of my life, and this time I decided to come to Coorg. 

In The Company of Elephants

Today I spent some time in a place called Kushalnagar. There’s a beautiful monastery and in the evening, I went to Elephant Camp and something happened there and as a storyteller whenever something happens in my life and if I learn something from it, it becomes my responsibility to share with you. 

As soon as they opened the door, we all entered inside, around 25 to 30 people and the elephants came, around five to six elephants.And there was a big board saying, “Do Not Irritate Elephants”. 

Follow Instructions People!

The people, the local organizers, their helpers, and those who are managing elephants, even they said, ‘don’t touch them.’ 

But still a few people, they started touching the trunk. They started touching the tooth. 

I Overreacted

Now if you are doing this with love, okay; but if you are doing this only to take a photo, to take a selfie, it was very disturbing for me. Now I started reacting on this, and unfortunately, I reacted— Or I would rather say, I really overreacted on one person. 

And later on, I thought, was it required or not?

Because I realize most of the time we overreact because something is happening in front of you which is not matching with your belief and your values, and if the gap is very huge then you really overreact. And this time the gap was very huge because I really respect animals. 

Animals Have Emotions Too

To me, I think their trunk and tooth, just for a selfie feels like insulting them and treating them like a toy, but they are like— They are animals, they have emotions. just imagine someone putting you in the cage and then people are coming and taking selfie and touching your nose and touching your ear, how will you feel? 

Well I overreacted and unfortunately, we exchanged a few words on a very high note and peak, but later on I realized it was not required, because somehow, I need to realize that these are my beliefs, these are my values. 

They Are At Risk Themselves

Not necessarily it will always match with other people. And they were not harming them. In fact, they were harming their own selves, they were actually putting their own self at risk because one push from that elephant and that person, gone. 

So, all these people who were touching, they were not actually harming elephants but still I overreacted because it was not matching with my belief, it was not matching with my values whatever was happening in front of me. But I think in this kind of situation, I should have controlled my anger, all my reaction, because these are my beliefs, not necessarily every time it will match. 

Step Back..Think..

So, this I learnt, I think, the next time I overreact because it is not matching with my belief, I should just think for a moment. Whatever that person is doing, is it really harmful? 

If it is not, I should let that go. 

This is Praveen Wadalkar signing out, until we meet again with a new story.


  1. Tanisha Rajput

    Thanks Praveen for sharing this…. What a timing… I just overreact and went to my room open my LinkedIn and find this… Your story make me realise…. It’s not needed actually… Thank you

  2. Samuel

    Brilliant story. But at times it’s difficult to respond and because of it we react. It will be nice to know, how do we stop reacting and responding to situation like this.


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