Every relationship(personal or professional) is hard, every relationship is work-in-progress. A perfect relationship is a myth. Every relationship has its own share of good times and bad times, but it is more important as to how we choose to respond to these speed breakers in the road called life.
In certain situations, in a fit of anger or in the heat of the moment we may utter some hurtful words that may seem appropriate for the sake of winning the argument at that time, but later it levies a huge weight on the fabric of the relationship.
React can be defined as “to respond with hostility or a contrary course of action.” When we choose to react to a particular situation or person, we let our emotions guide us and take the pivotal role which can lead to reactions that can later cause guilt, regret or remorse.
On the other hand,
Responding can be defined as, “ to say or do something as a reaction to something that has been said or done.” When we choose to respond to a particular situation or person, we put our emotions in the backseat and let logic take control.
When certain negative feelings are thrown our way, it can be exceptionally difficult to respond as we are too taken aback by the painful emotions we are feeling, and hence we give in and react. Although it would be preferable if we learn to respond, wherein we take the time to comprehend these negative feelings, calm down, resonate with the feelings and then logically respond to the situation.
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” – Viktor E.Frankl.
“Speak when you are angry and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret” – Lawrence J.Peter.
It's is not our agenda to hurt the feelings of the ones we love. It is also important to understand that when you react you are also hurt. We may feel lighter and relieved when we say our bit but also understand that in the end it never feels better. Some people may try to instigate you, some people will intentionally try to get a reaction from you, but realizing that giving into this would ultimately not be healthy for you, is the first step towards learning to respond.
Learning To Respond:
1. Awaken your awareness
The first step towards learning to respond is when you become aware that you are reacting in a way that could turn out to be harmful to your relationship. Try paying attention to how you are reacting and ponder over how it can have negative repercussions. Once the realization sets in, you can use techniques like deep breaths or mindfulness to calm yourself down when there is a negative trigger.
2. Think before you leap
When the awareness kicks in, you will be able to gauge when you are reacting to the situation, at these moments stop and consider how your response will affect the other person and you in the long run.
3. The right balance of logic and emotion
Responding does not negate emotion. When responding, it is always better to try to find a mix of logic and emotion. The idea is not to deny emotions but to balance them and responding accordingly.
4. You have a choice
Often we feel that reacting was the only option in our hands. Whenever you are confronted with such a situation, remember the consequences of your words and you may be able to stop yourself from reacting.
5. No two people are the same
Every pea in the pod is different, in the same way, each person has a different way of saying what they feel. When someone negatively reacts to you, you need to control the situation and try to calm down the situation before it escalates.
6. Keep Breathing
The best way to calm yourself down if you are about to react is deep breathing. It will help you calm down and give you a chance to think rationally as well.
“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it” – J. K. Rowling.