How to deal with people you can't stand And other helpful insights

“The greatest difficulty is the mental resistance to things that arise and the underlying assumption that they should not.” -Eckhart Tolle

This week, situations will arise that are beyond your control and you will be forced to make decisions about those things. You can choose to react, or; you can choose to respond.

We hope you choose to respond.

Someone cuts you off in traffic, you hit every single red light on your way to work, your flight is delayed 4+ hours, the guy in line behind you at the grocery store is being incredibly obnoxious, your co-worker won’t stop talking, and your boyfriend hasn’t answered your last 3 texts.

Pic via  Pinterest

Pic via Pinterest

A lot of our lives is spent in reaction to others and to the events happening around us. The problem, on top of the underlying problem that this takes us completely out of our own lives and where we’re going (like comparing yourself to others does), is that these reactions are usually not the best course of action for us, the situation, or anyone else involved. These reactions *usually* only make things worse.

Reacting vs. Responding

Reactions are driven by emotions (often, irrational emotions).  

We react without thinking. We get defensive and we act out of fear and insecurity.

Reactions are *usually* not our finest moments…

Responding, on the other hand, is taking in the situation, pausing, and consciously deciding the best course of action based on values like compassion, reason, and everything else that seems to go out the window when you’re stuck in traffic on the 405.

Reacting is yelling at your mom on the phone for being “irritating”.
Responding is laughing at her inability to copy + paste.
Reacting is punching out the incredibly obnoxious guy behind you in line at the grocery store.
Responding is overlooking his obnoxiousness and smiling at him instead.

Responding is mindfully pausing.

It’s having the ability to observe yourself when something out of your control arises. It’s taking a step back, it’s pausing, it’s breathing. In some cases, it’s counting to 10 before you choose to act.

It’s asking: “What can I do to minimize my stress in this moment?” And also asking, “What is the most compassionate response here?”

It’s observing the urge to react arise within you, taking a minute to pause, and consciously choosing to respond.

This week, when situations arise,

Will you react or respond?

We hope you choose to respond.

With love,
Erika & Jess

PS. We also hope you check this out. It’s happening again this fall and it’s going to be bomb.

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