Dig Deep.

6 Apr


Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Victor Frankl.

While I’m not asking you to carefully craft all of your conversations, if you’re finding it challenging being confined in closer circumstances for longer periods of time than you are used to, and conflict is causing concern, it could be beneficial to learn how to respond rather than react. Especially if you want to create a more emotionally comforting bubble to hang out in.

Choosing our response is about making sure it’s calm, considered, conscious and in line with our core values. It’s driven by wanting to get the best out of a situation for ourselves and others. Responding is more about actively taking our time to work out what the most effective way of communicating might be, and taking personal responsible for our part of the exchange.

Reacting comes from a more triggered emotional state. It’s kind of like a bad habit. It’s about allowing unfiltered, instinctual, unconscious thoughts and feelings to take over and spill out in a defensive manner even when someone is being a jerk, or jumping to conclusions. Usually it has the tendency to make things worse. When we get triggered, we’re likely to up the ante and shoot back, adding to a cycle that’s harder to come back from.

Practise Secret number 18 from the relationship book I wrote called Fairytale Love, How to Love Happily Ever AfterBefore you communicate, put your brain into gear and consciously consider asking yourself this: If I say this, in this way, then what is the likely result?

Other ways to respond rather than react

  • Speak in a way that you would like to be spoken to.
  • Be kind and gentle.
  • Learn to reflect.
  • Be curious about their hidden need. What might they really want even though they can’t be bothered asking nicely?
  • Know that it’s easier to manage your emotions when you are rested and resourced.
  • Create space by taking a long deep breath.
  • Slowly count to 5 before you say or do anything.
  • Encourage don’t discourage. You can always ask them to try again, in a more respectful way.
  • Always construct rather than destruct.
  • If you’re really struggling, politely walk away and distract your brain by doing something else. It will help you gain a more rational viewpoint. It may even help you realize that no response is a response.

Dig deep! Don’t let things bring you down. Keep in mind you hold the key to make the situation better by being the strong, sensible, supportive one.

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