Posted on May 24th, 2006

REACTING freezes your choices and shuts down your brain.
RESPONDING opens up your choices and jump starts your creativity.

REACTING creates more problems.
RESPONDING solves problems.

REACTING says things like "Why does this always happen to me?" "This is just not fair" or "This shouldn’t be happening!"
RESPONDING says "I don’t like what is happening, it’s really inconvenient, so how do we best deal with this?"

REACTING escalates an argument and leads to no solutions.
RESPONDING defuses an argument and sets the stage to seek solutions.

REACTING creates anger and distance in relationships.
RESPONDING creates connection and intimacy in relationships.

REACTING keeps you dealing with the same problems over and over, without achieving any long-term solution or elimination of the problem.
RESPONDING allows you to consider the current problem, possible sources of the problem, and the multitude of solutions available when you respond with reasoned creativity.

REACTING demonstrates ignorance, which is applied lack of understanding.
RESPONDING demonstrates wisdom, which is applied understanding and knowledge.

REACTING causes us to act as if we have no knowledge, experience or wisdom.
RESPONDING allows us to use and apply our knowledge, experience and wisdom.

REACTING is the primary cause of road rage and doing really stupid things.
RESPONDING allows you to handle potentially dangerous situations in a way that keeps you safe.

REACTING causes us to say really stupid things to our kids, sometimes even sounding like our own parents. Nothing worthwhile is taught or modeled.
RESPONDING allows us to step back enough to realize that one of the main purposes of parenting is the transfer of values to the next generation.

REACTING causes us to jump into situations without considering the consequences.
RESPONDING allows us to step back, consider the context and all the available options.

REACTING leads to failure. RESPONDING leads to success.

REACTING is a choice. RESPONDING is a much better choice.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

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