Reaction and response are different! 

Respond rather than react!

One of the key psychological advice that prevails in society is that we must respond rather than react. It is one of the key aspects of emotional intelligence. Reaction does refer to just acting on the grounds of what we feel. For instance: when someone is angry, one starts yelling. However, response refers to an informed and logical decision that you make after analyzing the situation. Substitution response with reaction has a widespread effect on our daily lives. It makes a person emotionally intelligent to handle the problems of daily life. How to make such distinctions in these aspects? How to develop this skill? What spheres is it useful? We shall deal with all such issues in this blog. 

The distinction 

Reaction is the action based on emotional arousal that you make. For instance, if someone abuses you, you suddenly start yelling, your breath rate gets high, and you can even kill that person without anticipating the possible circumstances. Also, when someone praises you, you get ready to act as a result of words out of ingratiation. These are the actions that you make based on what you feel. However, this bounds us in contextual terms. We will solely depend on our feelings and other’s behavior for our actions which is surely not a viable source of pathway for development. If you continuously tend to act based on what you feel, anybody can easily enrage you. 

Emotional intelligence suggests a pathway for your emotional development. Here it indicates that we must respond to situations rather than react. One of the preachings of the Upanishads also indicates that we must take revenge one day if we feel so out of anger. The entire context is the same here: after a day the feeling of taking revenge vanishes and we can make informed decisions. Response is the logically correct decision that you make to behave in a certain way. It is not based on what you feel.  

Neethika, one of the social media influencers, mentions a beautiful line, “The feeling angry is okay but yelling is not, missing them is okay but going back to them is not” We must here separate our emotions and behaviour that we make. What we feel is always okay but what we do must be a rational one. 

The significance 

  1. Maintains interpersonal relationships: – Sometimes reacting spontaneously can make us regretful in future. This is because when these decisions will lead to the loss of some meaningful relationships as a result of our words it can impact us. Thus, responding helps in maintaining some meaningful relationships. 
  2. Makes us more productive: – Making decisions in a state of emotional arousal can catastrophically affect our productivity. Thus, response helps us maintain  the quality of our productivity 
  3. Makes us rooted: – Understanding the impact of intensity of our emotions will help us to get connected with our roots and will make us humbler. 
  4. Spreads happiness: – when we make informed decisions by responding, it tends to protect our meaningful relationships and thus makes a positive aura around us 
  5. Emotional management: – The time we take to respond helps us to regulate our emotions effectively and thus manage them according to context.  


How to execute response mechanism 

  1. Take time to make decisions: – We must not make decisions about our behaviour instantly. Especially when we are feeling a particular emotion intensely. Giving time to make our decisions will help us to separate our emotions from them and make a rational decision. 
  2. Release tension: – We must focus on our breadth while making decisions. In case our breadth is not normal first we must wait to get it normal. Deep breathing does helps to release the tension. Thus the decisions in neutral state are the most correct ones. 
  3. Name your feelings: – You must be able to identify your feelings. Please do name it that will help you to identify how all these feelings are different from each other and how can impact your response mechanism 
  4. Be assertive: – You must state the facts clearly. Being assertive and factual is more effective than the responses that we make. 


Thus, in a nutshell, we shall conclude that sometimes just reacting to situations will prove futile and catastrophic for us. It can have certain ramifications that can impact our lives significantly. On the other hand, responding to situations makes us more mature about the content and decisions we make. This can be a source of our maturity. 


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