Reacting vs Responding

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Ever regret how you handled a situation because your passion at the time warrented immediate action?  Me too….and every other person on this planet! We sometimes get caught up in our emotions and react in a not-so-desirable fashion, to say the least. Being aware of the difference and learning to forgive yourself is often enough to stop it from happening again.  It never hurts to ask the person you blew up at for forgiveness too 🙂

For women this usually occurs around ‘that time’ of the month (which we hate to admit that there is a ‘that time’), but that is no excuse either. Taking the time to reflect on this behavior when we are not passionate about ripping someone’s head off is the first step to stopping it before it is too late.  I love the metephor: GO NEUTRAL.  The idea of being a revved up car on a path to distruction is exactly how I feel in that situation, and watch out if you are the one in my path!  Luckily, I applied the ability to ‘go neutral’ and set aside my surging mind long enough to rationalize that I will only regret the words that are about to come out of my mouth.  I can visualize myself actually idling in my tracks, telling myself to deal with this another time and walking away.  I have never regretted ‘going neutral’ and it has taught me to keep my emotions on a more even keel ever since.  In fact, I adopted a mantra that I now live by.  It fits every time I have an issue with how someone else is pushing my buttons.  LIVE & LET LIVE.  I just take care of myself and my family and know that everyone else has to do things their way and learn their own life lessons.  It is very freeing!!!

Knowing your triggers is the key.  Whether it is another driver, dirty dishes in the sink, a loved one’s undesirable behavior, a selfish co-worker/classmate/teacher, etc. you need to be proactive and realize when your blood is starting to boil. Not letting yourself get sucked in to the drama or learning to respond with a cool head and calm tone will truly help to de-escalate any conversations you need to have in the  situation.  Also, being prepared to ‘go neutral’ and say nothing at all rather than blow a gasket is key to getting through tough spots. Taking the time to think about things beforehand and practice them over time will change your list of regrets and improve your relationships for sure…who knows, it may help your blood pressure too!

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