Responding versus Reacting
Posted on January 24, 2012 by Veronica Forsman, One of Thousands of Life Coaches on Noomii.
When faced with conflict, the need to defend ourselves creates opportunities to react, instinctively and at times, negatively.
As we gear up for the most important time of year when we spend time with friends and family, it’s during this time that some can experience challenging situations and conversations that leave us wishing we knew how to better be prepared. I’ve had a few clients now looking for support on handling those situations that arise during moments when our personal relationships can be challenged and we can behave in ways we’re not always proud of. While the answer is not always clear, here is something to keep in mind as you come upon these sticky situations…
RESPONDING VERSUS REACTING *
To RESPOND is to be CONSCIOUS of your thoughts and actions. Respond to whatever situation you are met with. Take the time to stop and really hear what is being said, be aware of your body language, think through how you want to answer, what you want to say or not say, take a deep breath and RESPOND. Calmly. Assertively. Patiently and fully in control.
To REACT is to be UNCONSCIOUS of your thoughts and actions.
So where does your REACTION come from? Your judgements of the past have created your beliefs and habits of the present, creating your reaction in PAST situations. IMPORTANT to note here, if you let your past rule your present, you will react to situations when they arrive. Your past decisions will recreate the decisions of your present. In other words, the HABIT of reacting to the past will happen again and again, never changing. In order to change a habit, you need to make a conscious choice to change it in the present, the now. Consciously. Do NOT React to whatever situation you are met with by answering quickly, without conscious thought or consideration. Do not REACT with aggression, impatience, defensiveness or high intensity emotion.
STAY CALM AND CARRY ON.
Remember too that you are not who you WERE. Who you were is in the PAST. You ARE who you are now, in this moment, every moment and choice made before this one bringing you here. Now. Every choice offers the ability to move forward with positive choices and personal growth. This is true for every single person in and out of our lives. With living comes experience. With experience comes learning. How we use that learning and apply it to how we live our life is a choice.
Who are you NOW? What have you learned in the living that has brought you here, to this moment? Respond to every situation, knowing this confidently. You are NOT who you WERE. You are more.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~ Maria Robinson