Respond, don’t react. This is something that I have talked to you guys about more than once and in fact I believe it is even a chapter in the new book that came out last November. When we are in the middle of an argument or faced with a stressful situation or in the midst of an emotionally charged situation we are “in a reaction” meaning that we are upset, without our equilibrium, feeling unsettled, have temporarily lost our bearings etc, etc—just sort of in the center of a shit storm.
This is NOT the time to make decisions! Any decision made in the middle of a reaction will not be a fortuitous one. In fact it will likely be a regrettable one. This I know from experience:)
Reacting is automatic, it is never measured or thought out…reacting is yelling, slamming doors, walking out, speaking before you think it through…you guys know what I am talking about, we have all been there, done that. Nothing good ever comes from allowing yourself to get lost in a reaction.
When you find yourself in this state the biggest favor you can do yourself is to STOP talking, take a breath, leave the room, walk away for a moment…whatever it takes to give yourself a chance to hit the ‘reset’ button. Once you have composed yourself and calmed down, you can think about how you want to RESPOND.
Responding takes a conscious effort, it allows for an action appropriate to the situation at hand. There is an immense amount of power by responding in lieu of reacting.
Reactions bring drama and nobody needs more drama…
Responding means that you have to know when to walk away and take a moment, meaning that you may not get the last word or you may not get to hammer your point home…and you may not get to be ‘right’—responding means acting like a grownup which is always a good thing:)