Responding vs. Reacting

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Partially because of my dad and partially because of the neighborhood I grew up in I learned to react quickly when I was faced with adversity.  My dad always said, “if he hits you in the mouth, you hit him back harder.”  And that’s what I did.

If you pushed me I would push back. If you punched me I would punch you right back.  If you yelled at me I would yell back at you.  We didn’t have a lot so it was my way of protecting what was mine.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year in college (I know!  I was a slow learner.) that I started learning the power in responding versus just reacting. 

When we react we are going by instinct; what has been learned from habit.  Most of our “reaction” habits are bad.  If someone says a bad thing about us we’re quick to retaliate with something worse about them.  If someone takes a shot, we take a shot right back. 

When we take the time to respond we are thoughtfully considering not just the present time but the future as well.  We sacrifice a juicy hurtful comeback for a chance at a more fruitful relationship. 

If we practice responding instead of reacting enough it will eventually become a great character quality.

Craig Kelley

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Craig is the author of How to Get Out of Debt and an avid blogger. He strives to help people maximize their time and succeed financially as well as personally. He has been a leader in several start-up companies including Mokumax Virtual Domains & Servers, Inc. and currently HealthcareSupplyChain. Read more...

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