Reaction v/s Response. What Is The Difference?

  • 14 months ago
3 minute read.
Reaction v/s Response. What Is The Difference?

We have the power to choose the way we deal with different anger provoking situations since it can be managed in different ways. The choice is between reacting and responding. How different are these terms?

Let’s see,


It is defined as an act in response to something to behave or change in a particular way when something happens, is said, etc.

For instance: You hit me; so I’m going to hit you. You cheated; so I’ll cheat too. You annoyed me, so I’ll get my revenge.  You yelled at me, so I will yell back.

A reaction is a reverse movement or tendency, or an action in a reverse direction or manner.

Reactions are done on impulse, without putting much thought into it or considering what the end result may be.

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It can be defined as saying something in reply.

Response is more thoughtful and done with reasoning. People who respond put their thoughts ahead of their actions. They think and formulate an intelligent and suitable reply before going vocal.

Anxiety assessment

Consider this example. Imagine yourself going to a crowded place such as a concert, sporting event, bar, or night club. As you enter you bump into someone and before you can say sorry, the person pushes you. Why do you think the person did this? Perhaps he/she may have thought that you bumped on purpose and wanted to pick a fight. The push they gave you in return is a reaction. It was like reflex, where they did not pause to reason. It was just spontaneous and thoughtless.

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Keep calm and respond logically

Now imagine; what if the other person had stopped for a second before they pushed you? If they did, they may have heard your apology and would have been more cordial. This momentary pause that one takes before acting out is called response.

Response is guided by rationality and logic- It is the best way to deal with situations because when one tends to reason, they begin to see the event from their opponent’s point of view.

The choice of reacting or responding is entirely in your control- Your actions are the way to express your thoughts and it can turn out best for all if you just pause, calm your anxiety and think for a minute.

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React v/s Respond (Summary)




Bigger goals- Big picture

Passive behavior

Wise thinking

Gossip and rumor

Group success

Poor communication

Focused communication

Impulsive decisions

Fruitful decisions

Therapy Plan

Stressing over almost everything can lead to self-destruction and can consume your peace of mind. Changes in your life can be difficult, sometimes unacceptable but there’s always a way, even if you think there isn’t. When you feel lost, a motivator or a therapist at The Wellness Corner can help you with those changes and be there with you in your ongoing journey until you sail through.


Remember you can take control of your life. You can be more responsive and less reactive by simply navigating your thoughts in the right direction. Analyze the patterns, get rid of the toxicity, believe in yourself, lead a healthy life, eat good food (Yes, what you eat can affect your thinking), and take a break when the pressure hits you. You are going to get ample opportunities to work on yourself, so be the wiser person instead of taking impulsive decisions.

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