Usually, we are fast to react and slow to respond. When we react, we do things instantly, without waiting, not looking at the situation if it was contrary to our assumptions. However, a response is an act performed after thinking and analysing the situation. It is a positive way of reacting.
Anger stirs up reactions, but understanding leads to response. Ordinarily, we are more prone to react in rage, anger. A friend who is insulting could be right. He might have just shown you the truth and because of that you may have felt insulted. On the contrary, he may be utterly wrong, or he may be an unkind, nasty person. In this case, if you get angry without thinking, that is a reaction. However, after pondering for a while, if you find truth in his words, you should thank him. He has simply shown compassion towards you, and the truth about you, which you might have not known or ignored before. This is responding. He was being your true friend, trying to correct you, to make you a better person. May be it was hurtful, but certainly it was helpful too.
Likewise, if your friend was saying something fallacious to you you might get angry for what he said. It is a foolish, an unnecessary and uncalled act-because anger is a fire in itself. It burns you inside. There are no positive outcomes of anger since it increases the stress hormone cortisol, and death cells. Moreover, you will be punishing yourself for someone else’s error. Why do you want to punish yourself for mistakes committed by others? Thus, we must think prudently before we react.When we react, we believe blindly what others have said. Nevertheless, response involves awareness of the situation. It understands it, analyses it, then acts accordingly. It does not believe in the preoccupied assumptions, it is an act of intelligence. Therefore, a person who does not react but responds to the situation wisely is a responsible person. A responsible person seems to be calm, and does not get angry easily.
Learning to respond instead reacting may be a paradigm shift in our behavior. In our professional, fast pace life too we encounter mammoths of stress. Hence, learning to think, analyse and act according to the situation will prove beneficial in our personal, family and professional life.
Responding is a positive attitude while reaction is a repulsive. Benefits of acting and responding after thinking cannot be exaggerated. All of us should at least try to develop this habit.
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