Respond or React?

Hurt happens in families, friendships, with co-workers and often when it is unexpected. The minute we experience what we view as a negative or personal slight we can choose to respond effectively or react and make the situation worse. Reacting means acting instinctively, without thought. Anger is a common reaction to hurt, but unfortunately creates more problems. Responding means taking the opportunity to think and evaluate the situation. Techniques to help keep from reacting to hurts in old ways include:

Recognize if the hurt stems from a misunderstanding and determine if it was intentional or unintended. Try not to take it personally.

Resist the urge to defend your position. If you decide to approach the individual, do so calmly with an open mind and the desire to communicate clearly. Listen to their response.

Recognize and apologize for anything you may have done to contribute to the situation.

When we take responsibility for our part, we become willing to try new responses to old problems.“Each time we face a fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”   Anonymous