wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

The difference between reacting and responding

on April 15, 2015

I have briefly touched up on the difference between reacting to a situation rather than responding. Some people have sensitive reaction modes and will be seen as short-tempered, mouthy or temperamental. Short-tempered people who fit that category of being reactive are the same as everyone else of course, it’s all unconscious behaviour, they’re unaware that their egos have taken over. We all tend to react from time to time, we have different fuses if you like.

Noticing when you are reacting is the key. Becoming aware, being present in the moment and thinking, ‘how can I respond to this?’ instead of being on auto-pilot without really thinking and then reacting.

When I say reacting, it usually means –

-Raised voice/Shouting

– Sarcasm

– Anger/Frustration

– Lashing out/ throwing things/ hitting things

Reaction = More conflict, suffering and negative feelings

Responding = Open, honest discussion. Solving and creating solutions, being aware on both parts.

With responding you are actually thinking about the situation. We essentially want to live in harmony amongst each other, not war, this means as individuals also.

I have a great example as I just had a situation I had to deal with.

A man sat next to me to watch a movie in the hostel, he smelled of alcohol and was drinking a bottle of wine so I knew he was pretty drunk from his behaviour. After a while he began stroking my leg, I waited a few minutes because I wasn’t sure if I was mistaken. But no, he was pretty obvious stroking my leg. I looked at him and he still didn’t stop. I didn’t know how to react or respond.. So I walked away.

Taking time out to think about the situation, I decided to confront him. I didn’t want drama, I just wanted him to be aware of his actions and know they weren’t appropriate. So calmly I just told him I didn’t think it was appropriate and that I now felt uncomfortable. He was full of apology and excuses, yet we where able to discuss the situation calmly and I hope I made him think about his actions.

If I had instantly reacted and shouted at him, he probably would’ve shouted back at me, denied it etc. I wouldn’t of got him to think about his actions or my feelings because by shouting we’re never really listening. Our minds are already in defense mode, we just want to keep going until we win. I would’ve offended him and he would’ve offended me back, with no solving just more drama and complication.

Usually the more we practise the easier it becomes, it becomes a habit. Think about what you want to create, do you want to create more drama and negativity? Or do you want to create a solution and solve things.

We say we want peace not war. Lets prove it, lets start changing things, beginning with ourselves. 🙂

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