Someone very close once told me to focus on responding to a situation, instead of reacting. We were having an argument and that person later sent me a quote saying “Respond, don’t react” and I must admit, I couldn’t help but smile.
There was an elaborate explanation that accompanied the quote which goes:
“When you react to something someone says or does, you may have a problem with boundaries. If someone is able to cause havoc by doing or saying something, he or she is in control of you at that point and your boundaries are lost.
Then it went on to say…
“When you respond, you remain in control with options and choices. If you feel yourself reacting, step away and regain control of yourself so [people] can’t force you to do or say something you do not want to do or say; and something that violates your separateness.
It finally concluded with…
“When you have kept your boundaries, choose the best option. The difference between responding and reacting is choice. When you are reacting, they are in control. When you respond, you are.
That same person also sent me another quote which said “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it” which then just made me laugh.
It made me laugh because I concurred the quotes made sense and also because this person’s choice of response to my reaction was effective. And suddenly I forgot why we needed to argue to begin with.