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Do You React Or Respond?

There is a huge difference between each impulse: The former is Unproductive and the latter is Productive. The intention behind this is to give you an outline of the characteristics involved in the two different states of being. You may notice from the start that they both take up a very different position, which will equally lend a very different result. Perhaps you relate more to one than the other. If we’re caught up in a ‘react’ mode it will take a fair amount of diligence and discipline to change our habit, but it’s not impossible. There is a space between Stimulus and Response; in that space lies your power to choose your response. In your response lies your growth and your freedom as Viktor Frankl once said.

Response Approach


Connecting to your breath and purposefully slowing it down will help keep you in the here and now.


Listen to the other person and see their point of view. Keep the bigger picture in mind. Keep your heart open. The other person is not the enemy, even though it feels that way.

  • S = SAFE

Keep reminding yourself that you are safe and no one is going to harm you. Keep breathing slowly.


Be sensitive to any changes in the situation and to the dynamic. If matters escalate, choose to walk away from the situation.


Stop, think, take a look at the big picture. Try to understand why the other person is behaving in that particular way. It’s usually because their needs are not being met.

  • N = NOTICE

Notice what is going on for you as well as for the other person and try to create some emotional distance in order to reflect on and understand their behaviour.


Remind yourself of the consequences and that the other person is not the enemy. Let go of being right and your attachment to winning.

Inspired by

Mike Fisher