Sign in to follow this  
mindtooloud

Reacting vs Responding

Recommended Posts

I was listening to a guided meditation on quieting the mind, and the person at one point said "Stop reacting to life, and start responding to life." Can someone please explain to me in further detail as I do not fully grasp the concept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only thought would be that the presenter is suggesting that reacting is a negative and responding is a positive.

 

That is, reacting inspires defensive or aggressive action.  In responding we are trying to attain harmony with the changes of life.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The difference between reacting and responding? Oh, about ten seconds.

 

Here¬īs my take. ¬†Reacting is what we do automatically, almost without thinking. ¬†Someone calls me a name; I call them a name back. ¬†When I¬īm stressed I¬īm reactive. ¬†There¬īs no space to consider alternate possibilities, no willingness to sit with discomfort or ambiguity. ¬†Responding, on the other hand, happens when we¬īre able to note our reactions without immediately putting them out into the world. ¬†We can consider: is escalating this conflict by fighting fire with fire what would really be best now? ¬†After due consider (like I say -- ten seconds) we can take a responsive action.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The difference between reacting and responding? Oh, about ten seconds.

 

Here¬īs my take. ¬†Reacting is what we do automatically, almost without thinking. ¬†Someone calls me a name; I call them a name back. ¬†When I¬īm stressed I¬īm reactive. ¬†There¬īs no space to consider alternate possibilities, no willingness to sit with discomfort or ambiguity. ¬†Responding, on the other hand, happens when we¬īre able to note our reactions without immediately putting them out into the world. ¬†We can consider: is escalating this conflict by fighting fire with fire what would really be best now? ¬†After due consider (like I say -- ten seconds) we can take a responsive action.

this makes sense, and clears up my question. thank you red cat

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was listening to a guided meditation on quieting the mind, and the person at one point said "Stop reacting to life, and start responding to life." Can someone please explain to me in further detail as I do not fully grasp the concept.

They obviously took this from Michael Brown's Presence Process where he explains on p 198:

The difference between reactive and responsive behavior is that reactive behavior always adds fuel to the fire while responsive behavior throws water on the fire.

Essentially, reactive behavior (getting upset -> blaming -> feeling guilt, regret, or shame) assigns responsibility for emotional triggers to outside factors, while responsive behavior (dismiss the messenger -> get the message -> feel it -> come-pass-on) assumes and looks for internal causation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They obviously took this from Michael Brown's Presence Process ...

 

While said unnamed person may have taken the idea from your source, it's not necessarily so.  

This is a common theme I've seen repeated from many....

 

Personally, I think on this a lot.  I used to be what most would consider a very patient person.  Having 2 young children has seemed to be calling this into question :)  So, i spend a lot of time trying to breathe and respond, instead of reacting.

 

Practices across styles seem to point to the importance of this, as well as focusing on opening up that space in order to choose to respond instead of react.   A yoga teacher I sometimes frequent is fond of quoting Viktor E. Frankl while the sensation is building up in half-pigeon, or some other intense pose:

Between stimulus and response there is a space.

In that space is our power to choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general we don't have the choice to respond any different than we will - there is no space - it continues the mythology of "I" to think we do but our best attempt at this is to reflect upon what has occurred and work toward more skillful means in preventing that pattern from continuing. Recognizing our reactive patterning and in a sense tiring of it and or retiring it - we trancend frequency.

 

Once reactive patterns are clearly seen for the addictive patterns they are and not a choice - they are laid aside more easily - though we do not lay them aside - we are simply not them anymore - as we never were.

 

Reacting and responding are basically one and the same for most humans - in human "communication" it is basically trigger words and skipping that we happen to. Women are able to actually bond in communication emotionally with other women and this is foreign to men - women skip about less but can appear to men as shallow or frivolous and definitely slow.

 

Reacting and responding both imply doing - neither is required - but if one is inclined to give the benifit of the doubt to whether the person was wise in this advice - responding is probably meant more in the sense of "just listen and be with what is actually presenting itself rather than the finding importance in the voices in your head offering up opinions and judgements on everything and everyone".

Edited by Spotless

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like the presenter is creating a polarity for the sake of teaching a coping skill. In that context, reacting is more instinctual and automatic, whereas responding is more measured and reflective.

 

It's a "think before you act" sort of lesson.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Reacting and responding are basically one and the same for most humans - in human "communication" it is basically trigger words and skipping that we happen to. Women are able to actually bond in communication emotionally with other women and this is foreign to men - women skip about less but can appear to men as shallow or frivolous and definitely slow.

i dont underastand what you mean here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this