“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
Whether you believe it or not, there is a huge difference between reacting to a situation and responding to it. Any reaction is typically quick, without much or any thought at all, it’s a tense and aggressive feedback provoking more reaction and accomplishing nothing. A response, however, is often thought out, calm and non-threatening. While most people actively listen, some listen to react and not respond.
When people react, it’s usually a defensive response, leaving them at a disadvantage. Whatever is said or done makes them uncomfortable and their first instinct is to react. In their reactions, emotions take a centre stage. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you reacted before responding, you may have noticed the hairs on our neck standing on end, that churning in your stomach or your face being flushed. This is your defense mode or your fight or flight mode.
The downside to reacting to any situation is that, without reason, your emotions drives you to lose control. There is an upside, however, the upside requires you to be centred on purpose and not up unnecessary, unproductive stimulus.
The next side of the coin is responding. Response requires thought and requires reasoning; it’s guided by fewer emotions and more logic. It may be perceived as being passive, however, a response can change the direction of interaction and is more active. The advantage of a good response is an engaging positive, civil conversation; where you learn, grow, listen and respond.
Reacting is a habit, to respond you have to think. When you react, you lose and whatever you’re reacting to wins. When you respond you win because you have had time to think. It’s the law of non-resistance! Whatever you resist, resist you. The next time you find yourself in any situation, ask yourself……..How can I respond to this situation? Instead of ….How should I react to this situation?
©Etta D. Richards