Reacting or Responding?
Think of a time someone dropped a bomb of bad news or truth in your life that really didn’t set well. How did you react and what was the outcome? Did you ‘keep your cool’, or did you lose your shit going off on the person or people around you? We can all relate to both of these situations. Our emotions are an energetic force that is powerful! We have either been the one going crazy or we have certainly witnessed it at work and at home.
There is a difference between reacting or responding. Reacting is an immediate reply to a situation, person or thing, usually based from fear and insecurities. Reacting is an immediate ‘gut reaction’ that often times is unhealthy. Our body, mind or emotions immediately react without us taking the time to process the situation and truly understand what’s going on. And it feels…yucky. When you come back down from your explosion, truth sinks in that you have some personal development to do. Anytime there’s this complete emotional meltdown we’re often left feeling drained, angry, vulnerable, and at times, embarrassed that we were so easily triggered.
I’ve faced so many situations where I was the one being a reactor throughout my life. Over the years in my 20s I found myself in a few relationships that were unhealthy for me and instead of ending them immediately, I let them drag out longer than needed and continued to put up with unnecessary bullshit. Arguments and blow ups would happen over and over, and many times it was over the same issues. I know many of you ladies reading this can fully relate to this, including conflicts in friendships.
But then I learned how to manage my emotions in much healthier ways through meditation, journaling and breathing exercises to name a few. I also found my self worth, did a ton of healing and got way more clear in who and what I wanted in my life. Furthermore, owning my shit and growing the hell up helped, too. Emotional immaturity is ugly, unattractive and downright freaking annoying. Can I get an amen?!
What triggers people to react?
- Big time fear
- Feeling unloved or unwanted
- Feeling disrespected
- Lack of control
- Insecurities such as self esteem and self worth issues
- Being blindsided
- Feeling unprepared
- Feeling hurt and betrayed
- Feeling small
- Being reminded of a past experience, usually from childhood that has not yet been healed.
- Lack of compassion
How Do I Control My Emotions When I Want to Go Off On Someone?
This, my friends, is where the work happens. The transformation of self that we all crave and long for to become better human beings and appear less crazy to the outside world.
What is buried inside of you that needs healing? This is the big picture and root of reacting or responding. Maybe you already know what it is that needs work. If you do, fantastic! Let’s get to work on healing and letting that shit go because it really doesn’t look good on you girlfriend! If you aren’t sure, it is time to start digging and doing a big personal inventory check of what’s really going on at your core. Participating in a self development program can work wonders on peeling back these layers.
Take note that the universe is trying to send you a message. Pay attention to what the world is reflecting back to you. What is the underlying lesson going on? Where can you practice deeper self accountability? Don’t shoot the messenger, just get the message. Apply some self compassion and acknowledge where you still need to spiritually grow.
Be your own best friend. Almost always it’s a person or combination of, causing us emotional turmoil that sets us off. Sit down and do some journaling and ask yourself these questions:
- What needs of mine aren’t being met from this person or situation that’s causing this reaction from me?
- How can I practice self accountability, integrity and self control to shield myself from this happening again?
- How is this affecting my energy field? How badly is this throwing me off center from the core of who I am?
Take a breather. The next time you’re faced with a difficult situation and you immediately feel your emotions brewing up wanting to explode, simply walk away. Take a few moments or a day for yourself to work through it. Be mindful of what you know is about to happen and take a step back. Mindfulness is a huge self care tool! Walk away respectfully and come back to talk when you feel more grounded and clear in expressing what’s going on with you.
Rock solid self control, managing your energy (emotions) and coming back when you can be fully present to address the situation is responding.
Everything is a choice. Do you choose to react or respond?