How to respond? Reaction to Response.
Updated: Mar 30, 2021
For years I have heard people saying, ’why do you react’ or ‘don’t react’, mostly, in situations where they saw emotions running high. That gave me the understanding that reaction is something that one does with emotions and response is something that is bereft of emotions and it may look like a measured/peaceful/joyful way of handling the same situation.
I wanted to be on that side, however I often found myself tangled in emotions and hence reaction. That journey was made easier by Access Bars. Thanks to Access Bars I could shed loads of charge that was there because of judgement I had of others and myself. Within a few sessions of Access Bars I noticed places where I stopped reacting. Over the period reaction reduced to almost NIL and response got easier and easier.
I have captured some situations and reactions and responses to that. These situations are from life experience of a few individuals and myself. You may find there some relevance to your life too and that my friend is not a coincidence!
Situation: House is looking messy
Reaction: Hey! Who made this mess? What an irresponsible act is that? Clean up now! [Anger, Frustration, blame]
Response 1: House isn’t looking very clean and I have to clean it. Where can you help ?
[just describing the situation, no blame, no anger and involving others to help and giving them a s choice]
Response 2 : Silence and cleaned up myself
[it was my need to clean up at that moment. Family expressed that messy table is fine with them and they will be available for clean up only later in the day]
Response 3: Hey look nice, hideout places for cats today. Looks like they are enjoying themselves.
[Did nothing about the mess for a few hours. Later we all cleaned up the place]
Response 4: Took a break from being at home. Went out to my work space and worked there. When I came back, the mess was cleaned up!
[Gave time to others to plan things according to their schedule]
Response 5: Said this like I am singing a song...hey look we all are sitting in a big mess now! That means you all have been working. And how wonderful is that.I am bothered by the mess. Man! I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and I can enjoy having that.. Tra la la la la la la
Situation: Family criticizing food that I cooked
Reaction: Cook for yourself and you will know.
Response: Oh man, another bad food day for you. What can be done here now?
Response: Looks like dal is burnt and sabzi isn’t cooked very well today and I am all exhausted! I am sorry for ruining your dinner. How can we fix this now?
Response: Guys! Dinner is not edible. Help pls
Response: Announcing a contest. Who can eat this dinner with praise and gratitude?
Situation: Toddler throwing tantrums
Reaction: If you don’t stop this you will not get the toy. Look, everyone is watching. Who is being a bad boy?
[Blame, punishment, threat, label, fear of being judged]
Response: Looks like you really like to have it and I see that you are so upset because you can’t have it.
[acknowledgement of child’s feeling and need]
Response: We will wait here! Let us know whenever you are ready to do something else!
Response: Zip your mouth and just sit close to them or continue doing your work silently while keeping an eye on them and receiving their expression.
Response: Ask them to express their feelings differently
Situation: People lying
Reaction: Can’t believe you are lying! I hate you.
Response: Acknowledge to yourself that they have a need to lie here. Don’t judge them, let go of your expectations from people that they must always be honest with you and being honest is a highly moral thing.
Situation: When people judge you
Reaction: I am not that, you are! You are such a moron.
Or to self: What is wrong with me? Why can’t they see the good in me?
Response: Thank you for letting me know that!