When we respond, and react

I’m sure we’ve all been in this situation before, reacting to something someone says, instead of stepping back to think about what our reaction should be.

Most of the time, reacting to someone’s comment may not get us into trouble. But we must always work through the calculated risk of what will happen, if we say something without working through the thought behind it.

Thoughts are fleeting, but a reaction will stay with the person we react to. But we can choose not to react in those circumstances, so that we become calm and take control. We must place importance on our health and integrity, rather than importance on the person making the criticism or remark.

It is never easy to do, but well worth the effort. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to act on our instant reactions. Usually when we stand back and think things through we achieve a better outcome.

Our gut response is always to react back.

4 May, 2011

8 thoughts on “When we respond, and react

  1. Good post. I’m learning more and more to stand back and ‘look before I leap’.

    Sometimes the cheeky devil sitting on my shoulder gets the upper hand, but I have an angel on the other shoulder doing battle. I think the angel is winning.

  2. Living with an older parent you have to do this and watch the tone of your voice when you speak. I have been called on my tone when I speak to my father in anger.

    He does not like it and will not permit me to do this.

    1. I understand your point Randy, but I also think it has to work the other way too.

      Not all older adults watch the way they speak to their children, so a child’s reaction can be a consequence of that.

      I think it’s a learning curve for both adults and children alike, to learn to communicate and respond to each other; so that they get the best out of the relationship.

  3. We should slow down, wait and think and not act on our instant reactions.

    I should follow that advice. I have always reacted first, then in hind sight regretted my response.

    It has gotten me into trouble more times than I can remember, still does.

    1. I completely understand, but given what we deal with sometimes (and I did this too as a child) a lot of how we handle ourselves is because we are angry. May be some of what you had to deal with growing up was part of the same scenario as mine.

      I know I would have been able to stand back more if my family had have given me the right support. Perhaps there’s some truth in there for you too. We respond through anger.

      Thank you for posting.

  4. I agree with you. I end up letting people run over me and don’t say anything at all. Then what they say, eats at me.

    I guess I’m just chicken when it comes to confrontation.

    1. I never used to say anything either, because I was subconsciously looking for acceptance and wanted to please those around me, but I learned over the years, it doesn’t work to be like that.

      As you correctly say Lisa, people begin to ‘run over you.’ Perhaps it’s time to think about how you can change.

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