To respond or to react, that's the question.
Think about the last time you were involved in a discussion or argument where you reacted. How did you show up in that exchange? Prickly? Angry?
Think about the last time you were involved in a discussion or argument where you reacted. How did you show up in that exchange? Prickly? Angry? Defensive? Powerless? Personally, when I am being reactive I become susceptible to all sorts of negativity.
As a matter of fact, I have to raise my hand and admit that I have fallen prey to the guiles of victimhood/reactive-ness most recently. I allowed someone else’s poor behavior and negativity to throw me into a bit of tizzy. (What a tizzy it was too with f-bombs included.) Fortunately, during my little visit to the dungeons of victimhood/reactive-ness I remembered something very important; I have a choice as to whether or not I want to allow someone else’s crap behavior (which I have no control over) to impact me. I also came to the realization that the negativity that was making my heart heavy and zapping my power was also leaving me susceptible to getting sucked into further drama, chaos, and unhealthiness of the situation.
The bottom line; when we don’t react, we detach from the negative charge. We hold on to our own personal power, a.k.a we don’t allow something or someone else to make us feel small or insignificant or worse yet a victim to the circumstances.
So here are few things to try when you find yourself reacting rather than responding:
- During “heated” times try taking a deep breath, sit quietly for a moment, and give yourself that time to settle your emotions. Doing something as simple as breathing deeply will help you to come from that place of responsiveness where words are chosen with care and thoughts are clearer.
- If you have to, excuse yourself from the conversation by letting the other person know that you would like to table the discussion and give it some thought.
- Allow your emotions or the signals of your body (i.e. tension) to serve as your trigger and then ask yourself the following question, “What do I choose right now?” When you remember that you have a choice, you take back your own personal power to respond.
Whatever you choose it can be truly liberating and rather powerful to come from a place of responsiveness rather than reactive-ness. In addition, you avoid the drama and chaos and experience much more peace and positive well-being so here’s to the power of responding.