"Reacting is action before feeling, responding is action informed by feeling." These are wise words shared by my mentor and teacher Thomas Hubl. What exactly does this mean and how did this work out for my client D when wanting to end an intimate relationship?
When we react to our world, we have been triggered and a younger part of us is behaving. When we respond to our world informed by our feelings, we are able to behave in a responsible way. This is the meaning of responsibility. Able to respond! This is how the mature person behaves. We're able to take in many perspectives.
We all behave in both ways. Sometimes acting as if we were 3 again and sometimes acting as our real age.
So what can you do about this? By becoming aware and conscious of our behaviours, we can change them to serve us better and allow for more understanding, kindness and compassion in our relationships with others.
At the end of each day, take some quiet time for yourself and revisit any difficult conversations you may have had during the day. Ask yourself how you showed up and what your part was in creating any tension or bad feeling? Just notice where you felt triggered and when you behaved as a younger you. What did this difficult interaction help you see about your own behaviour? Just notice what comes up for you.
For more resources on creating more vitality, joy and connection in your relationships, download my free 3-part video series.
Here is D.'s testimonial about our work together. "You helped me feel confident as to how to handle a difficult situation. I took action from a place of being calm rather than reactive. We learned and worked together to figure out the best productive and non destructive way to end a relationship. I left feeling like I was very clear on what to do and how to do it so that it would be the best for me :), taking care of myself and feeling at peace with my decision."