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Are You a Responder or a Reactor?

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” ~Dennis P. Kimbro

When you get frustrated about a situation like business, work environment, kids, money, I could go on and on with all the things that life throws at us; the question is how do you react to the situation?  The keyword in that is sentence is React.  Most people have a reaction to a situation, which is typically an emotional reaction. 

Once a problem arises, the reaction is one that gets us frantic and we stop thinking logically because we are reacting to the situation.  This can be something that your child has done, you react quickly by yelling at your child over whatever they did.  When your child acts up, you react.  This can relate to your spouse, family member, or a friend.   When someone says something or does something to upset us, we tend to say and do things we wouldn’t normally do.  The reason being we are reacting emotionally instead of responding logically.

When we can eliminate reacting to a problem and respond to the situation, the end result will be better for everyone.  If we respond to our children in an understanding, non-yelling manner then we will get a better response in return from them.  The same can be said when having a disagreement with another adult.  Reacting causes things to be out of balance.  In turn as we react to things, those same things react to us.  If we can respond, it will change the entire situation.  Respond to the needs of your children, spouse, family member, and any other person that may cause you to react.  If you can teach yourself to respond instead of reacting, the outcome will be a happier one for everyone.

Think about this.  When there is an emergency, the people first on the scene are first responders, not first reactors.  It is the response to a situation that will yield the results.  If your child, for example, is misbehaving then you have to respond first and then have your child respond.  Not react but respond.  By reacting is teaching your child that if they "act" a certain way and we "react" the cycle will never stop. If they act a certain way and we respond, then we are breaking the vicious cycle.


In business, work, or life problems we need to figure out how to respond.  OK, we need to have a plan.  Instead of reacting to the situation, but we build a response to the negative; guess what, it will lessen the stress because a response is constructive.  Reactions are emotional outbursts.


People may be expecting you to react to the situation, but if you begin to respond then they will look for you to respond and not react.  When you react, then the other person reacts.  Then what happens is we fall out of responses of love, respect, and clarity.  We are looking to be heard.  Instead of responding by listening we react by yelling.   If we can step back for a moment then logically respond to the situation, it will diffuse any situation.  Test out the reaction theory, see the difference that responding can make in any situation.