How many times have you reacted to a person, conversation, or situation only to regret it? So what is the difference between reacting and responding? Simply put, ‘responding’ and ‘reacting’ are the result of a totally different mindset.

For instance, the ‘reaction’ is instantaneous, rarely preceded by much concrete thinking, and followed by little to no thought. A ‘reaction’ is often based in the moment, and you do not invest the effort to think about the outcomes of reacting. Therefore, it brings a possibility of negative outcomes.

For example, we often react without understanding the other person’s views or situation. This is how problems arise. A ‘response’, on the other hand, is the result of more carful thought. A ‘response’ is a well-thought action through which the mind chooses to reply to the situation or circumstance. A ‘response’ is the result of a thorough evaluation of the situation at hand. But more than that, a ‘response’ is the result of taking inputs from the conscious and the subconscious mind before choosing to act.

In some situations, ‘reaction’ is needed, but in most cases, it is dangerous. This is because the ‘reaction’ is not being evaluated.

Reaction is emotion driven, response is well thought out.
Reaction is aggressive, response is calm.
Reaction fuels disagreements, response helps resolve it.
Reaction weakens you, but response empowers you.