What Happens When You Respond Versus React In Your Relationships
You can do a thousand things correctly, but it only takes one thoughtless mishap to destroy your relationships by allowing your emotions to take over your conscious mind and relationship goals.
Even though a partner, friend or co-worker may be unaware of how they have hurt you, it’s unhealthy to unleash your anger or anxiety onto the relationship regardless of the situation.
We are all responsible for our own emotional regulation.
The ultimate key to staying powerful in your relationship is learning to respond versus react.
Reacting is often an attack that comes from the ego, also known as a false narrative. It is often heightened emotion being projected onto the connection that can permanently damage or cause you to lose a person you deeply care about.
And, those who intentionally know where to provoke you for an emotional reaction are usually those who are aware of your so-called weaknesses. These people know exactly what your emotional wounds are which is why they continue to provoke you and maintain power in the connection.
Here Are Four Ways To Learn How To Respond During Times of Uncertainty:
1. Recognize Your Triggers
When you are aware of your emotional triggers or unresolved wounds this can help you gain clarity on what you need to heal. Most trigger responses are due to past experiences or childhood wounds that have yet to be resolved. Healing your past wounds not only allows you to take back power in your personal life and free yourself from the pain, but it also stops allowing others to weaponize your wounds against you in the present.
To better understand your triggers ask yourself these questions:
Am I experiencing emotional or physical rejection?
Am I being humiliated or embarrassed?
Am I being abandoned in the connection?
Are they betraying me?
Is what I’m experiencing an injustice?
Healing triggers often mean finding forgiveness for the past and developing a solid self-love and self-care routine. Only you have the power to heal you.
If you need a little extra guidance and support, then we are here to help.
2.Learn To Use The Power of Pause
The power of pause is when you are able to take control of your thoughts and not lash out with emotion. This may look like taking ten to twenty minutes to reflect on what has been said before responding.
Pausing allows you to gather your thoughts, form a rational response, and calmly position your needs to be met. When we are in a reactive mode we are also living on emotions. Emotions aren’t facts and can often lead to additional discord and misunderstandings between two individuals. Resolution can only happen when two individuals are able to respectively listen and understand each other’s perspectives in order to reach a mutually aligned agreement.
3. Set Boundaries
Boundaries give you a powerful place to respect yourself without losing your cool. They allow you to honor your voice and meet your emotional needs from a place of value. Instead of getting into a power struggle of back and forth of “me” vs “you”, boundaries help you see the problem from a bigger picture of “we” vs “the problem.”
Also, boundaries enable you to maintain your integrity, making it harder for those to get a reaction out of you. When you know your worth you aren’t afraid to command it from a place of respect because you respect yourself. This allows you to clarify who is healthy for you to engage with and who isn’t. If someone disrespects your boundaries continuously, then the relationship with this person may need to be redefined.
4. Excuse yourself from the situation or environment
If you feel extremely uncomfortable or disrespected by someone it may be healthy to completely remove yourself from engaging with this person. This may be temporary or this may be permanent depending on how this person fits into your life. If they are your spouse, boss or a family member then it may be best to let them know you need space to process and set a specific time when you will be ready to speak again about the situation.
This may look like, “I’m a bit taken back by what was said. I’m going to need some personal space to process this. Can we talk about this (timeline)?” After you set the boundary, then leave the environment altogether to prevent further emotional harm to yourself.
If you are currently finding yourself triggered repeatedly by someone in your life, you're not alone. Most of us have unhealed wounds we need to work through from childhood or past experiences. The sooner you heal your triggers, the quicker you become less impacted.
Don't react, take your power back.