Reaction vs Response

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In a world where immediacy is omnipresent, we like to constantly interact with other people. Whenever they share their thoughts, either through speaking or writing, we can't resist participating in the conversation. There has to be some communication, too. We can't let thoughts just be, especially when they're more or less related to us.

Yet, there are two, very different way in which we can continue the conversation; by reacting or responding.

I feel like these two actions are so mixed in today's world we don't benefit from the difference between them.

A reaction is usually immediate, or close to immediate. A snap judgmental opinion. It's as much about the content as it is about the other person. It's built on opinions, not facts.

A response is slower. It needs to make sense to make us feel like it's worth sharing, unlike a reaction. It has to be built on facts, not opinions. In the end, it still can be stupid, but most often it requires some level of intentionality and reflection.

Stop reacting, start responding.

Everybody would appreciate that.


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