Mental Health

Responding vs. Reacting


3 minutes - Article

A simple formula you can use!

First thing is first, what is the difference?

Reacting: Something happens. You panic or are triggered. Then you proceed immediately.

Responding: Something happens. You Pause. You Process. You Plan. Then you proceed.

Consider this...

Have you ever walked away from a situation and thought, “Why did I say that?” Or “I shouldn’t have said that.”

If you said yes, and let’s be honest, we all have said/done things in the moment that we regret, it could mean you reacted. Good, bad or ugly, reacting is part of our survival instincts. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable.

For example: You’re walking down the street and a dog comes out of nowhere and lunges at you. You jump and do what is necessary to protect yourself. Reactions could save your life in an emergency like this one!

In non-emergency situations, it is better to respond instead of reacting. Remember the 4 P’s!

  • Pause
  • Process
  • Plan
  • Proceed

The more you can practice responding, the more you can make decisions with the long-term benefits and consequences in mind to best serve you and everyone involved!

Information adapted from the Growth Equation

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