Unfortunately in life we are going to encounter some less than favorable situations. People are going to do and say things that we don’t like, our plans may fall apart, and our best intentions may be misinterpreted. This is all apart of life. So the question we must ask ourselves when life hits us in the worst way is, “Will we react or will we respond?”
Responding vs. Reacting
When emergency situations arise in our society, we are blessed to be able to rely upon our first responders. These are people who have been trained to respond to natural disaster, accidents, violence and a host of other crisis situations. It is their job to help and defuse the situation, not make the situation worse.
Now what I find interesting is that first responders are not referred to as first reactors because reacting is much different than responding. When you react to something it generally is based off of emotions and requires little to no thought. When a person reacts to a situation they tend to make it worse by saying or doing things that add fuel to a fire that needs to be put out not ignited. This happens because the reactor has not trained themselves to respond to unfavorable circumstances in a way that will benefit them most.
For example, when someone says something to you that is offensive, hurtful or unChristlike, what benefit would you gain by responding in a similar fashion? I mean really. In the moment it might feel good to blow off some steam, but in actuality you’ve put unnecessary stress on your own body by allowing yourself to get upset. This is why it is so important that you learn to be a responder and not a reactor.
You see, in that same situation the responder would take a moment to think and recognize that that person’s issue is not their issue. They would also understand that getting upset would only make the situation worse and would in no way be beneficial for their own well being. So instead of popping off they may say what needs to be said in a calm and non aggressive manner, or they may simply choose to walk away.
When you learn to respond you have the power to take control of your situation and point it in the direction you want it to go in instead of allowing it and your emotions to spiral out of control. When it’s all said and done the responder always wins. So the next time you find yourself in a little situation that tempts you to react instead of respond I want you to do these 3 simple things.
- Pause. Reactors, react without thinking about the consequences of the their actions but responders pause and think before they speak.
- Don’t take it personal. Many times peoples issues with you have nothing to do with you. So don’t take on the burden or their negative attitude.
- Choose to overcome. Making the decision to rise above your circumstances is one of the most empowering habits you can develop in your life.
Now after you’ve done these three things, then you can respond.
What Do You Think ?
So what are your thoughts on all of this? Have you experienced the peace that comes with being a responder? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Also be sure to share and subscribe!