[Image by Christine Schmidt of Pixabay]

The short answer to my blog post is…YES.  Do you tend to react or respond, and do you know how the two differ?

In 2005, Jeff Herring wrote an interesting article on the topic of stress management.   Much of the emphasis was placed on the distinction between reacting vs. responding.  A great deal of his key points are extremely relevant in 2022, even though it’s seventeen years later.

Mr. Herring stated the following points:

  1.  When we react, we tend to dive into situations and don’t necessarily consider the consequences.  In contrast, when we respond we usually take a step back and evaluate all the possible options.
  2. When we react, we’re more inclined to deal with the same problems again and again.  This means we’re not solving anything. In contrast, when we respond, we think through the current issue or problem and use our creativity in applying diverse solutions.   Therefore, we’re more likely to see results and a positive outcome.
  3. When we react, we’re more likely to escalate a condition or situation, whereas when we respond, it does the reverse, and the condition itself may defuse or become less potent.
  4. When we react, our choices are reduced, and we may feel our brain power is shut down or closed off.  Conversely, by responding, we’re aware of far more choices and in that regard, we typically feel our creative juices are jump started.

As you can hopefully see from Mr. Herrings’ article, there are many positives associated with choosing to respond vs. opting to react.  I believe this is ample reason to weigh every situation as well as consider our thought process.  We all stand to gain from responding vs. reacting.