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  • Writer's pictureSusan Winters

Response or Reaction?

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

Most of us are aware that we have triggers that set off a negative emotional experience. Some of us are triggered by a person who cuts us off in traffic, by dirty dishes left in sink, by children continuing to whine for the same thing over and over, or by nosy co-workers gabbing on the latest gossip.

At these times, before we give power over to the emotions, it is important to pause and consider: “Will this statement be a response or a reaction?”

What is the difference, you ask?

Reaction is simply an intense automatic output of emotion with little or no attention given to how the reaction will be received. In contrast, a response, after brief pause, registers emotion and thoughtfully considers how to share a particular emotion. We have

power when we pause to respond.

In what situations would you like to move toward a Response rather than a Reaction?


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