Don’t react, respond !

Whether you’re talking with friends, family, romantic partners or even coworkers or employees, how you communicate means a lot, especially when it comes to serious topics or any sort of conflict. But how do you become a more considerate communicator?

It all starts with how you listen—to be a good listener, you should be actively paying attention to what the other person is saying, trying to understand their point of view, and acknowledging their thoughts and feelings, rather than just hearing what they say and waiting for your chance to talk. But beyond that, there’s one small thing you can keep in mind—the difference between responding to something and reacting to something.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “aren’t those the same thing?” you’re not entirely wrong. They’re related, but there’s a difference that can totally change the way a conversation goes. According to Psychology Today, a reaction is instant, emotional, based on your beliefs and biases, and from your unconscious mind—while a response comes slowly, based on information from both your conscious and unconscious mind. That means that reactions are often defensive or survival-based and you might regret them later, while responses are generally more considerate of more than one point of view and thought out.

In short, a response is an action based on logic, while a reaction is an emotional state—and while in some cases a response and a reaction may look the same, the intention behind them, and the consequences that follow them, can be completely different.

Think about what you’d rather face when broaching a serious or difficult topic of conversation. Would you rather the other person react immediately with all of their emotions, or would you rather they take the time to consider your point of view and think it through before giving you a response? (The latter sounds way more appealing, right?)

To be a little more mindful, keep that small difference in mind and actively challenge yourself to respond more than you react—you might find that conflicts are more easily resolved, and tough talks go a little smoother.


8 thoughts on “Don’t react, respond !”

  1. Exactly Laura ! I learnt this lesson very badly in my life. Being impulsive, I react immediately which costed me lot more than I deserve ! And yes, its not always easy ! Thanks for your wonderful comments! And plz take Laura ! High five 🤚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so true! So many people around me (myself included) tend to react first, and respond later. It’s not a good way to interact with people! But, it’s also part of our human nature with our emotions. However, for myself, I’ve tried really hard to work on and improve my listening skills, and use that to lessen my intense reactions. It’s working, bit by bit. It takes practice!

    Liked by 1 person

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