The Best Reaction is No Reaction
Like an ice cold Needle, Piercing a tainted Spot, Words spawning an Upheaval, a Heart wounded by an invisible Gunshot.
There are times when under the most unexpected circumstances, a side of you is revealed. Your ears turn red upon hearing some unsavory disrespectful words, you can listen to your heart pounding amid the loudest concert and your brain seems to be sitting on top of a gas stove. There is fire erupting within you and just how the universe balances everything, your body decides to balance the heat with an outburst through your eyes.
While every inch of your body wishes to bravely defend what has been tainted merely by words, the only part that can muster up the courage is your mouth which is on a journey of derailment from the very start. It flails in protest, reacting to every hint of disrespect towards the identity you have worked so hard to build. The worldly teaching of Survival of the Fittest forces you to shout your lungs out until you can no longer breathe !
Oh what an outburst ! Felt good for a split second, but was that truly necessary ? Deep down it was one of the most horrible experiences you’ve ever had. What if I asked you to repeat it one more time, only this time, I place a mirror instead of the person who hurt you?
Your reaction will no longer be a reaction, but turn into a response.
In the last week I have experienced something similar where I realized how easy it was to question my own identity in a heated conflict. My brain froze and the world came to a halt with a single question on my mind ‘ where did I go wrong ? ’
Well, the truth is I was wrong to REACT. Newton’s third law is not just something to observe in your science class, but applies to real world issues, where every action will most certainly result in an equal, sometimes more volatile, opposite reaction. The more you try to protect your sense of self, the more vulnerable your identity becomes in the face of conflict.
While we can’t beat Newton in the world of science, we can most certainly try to diminish the volatility of reactions and prevent our minds from exploding with anger and manage to live in peace. In current times, your emotional intelligence requires far more honing than any other skill you may wish to enhance.
Without further ado, let me dive into some simple methods that can save you the trouble of losing your voice after shouting your lungs out.
1. THE IMAGINARY MIRROR
You probably expected a stereotype ‘ stay calm ’ suggestion, but how on earth will you remain calm by just thinking about being calm ? It just doesn’t work !
The next time you find yourself in a heated conflict, imagine a mirror right in front of you, and this is the quickest and easiest ‘ word stopper ’ that I have known to work wonders. You will never look at yourself in the mirror and go ballistic and feel a sense of calm slowly flowing down your brain.
Your Reflection is your Best Friend
2. PRACTICING SILENCE
Let’s face it, the more you talk, the worse it gets and before you know it, there are words that can never be taken back and hearts that have been tainted forever. This one is difficult, but can be achieved with some determined practice.
You will always face times when you feel provoked to speak out, as the people closest to you will know your weakest traits. However, even if it hurts, zip your mouth shut for your own good. Listen to your voice alone while cancelling out the white noise around you.
‘ Yea right, smartass ’, you’re thinking. But I’m not referring to breathing that comes naturally, but that which requires your complete 100% attention. It is about being mindful in the most difficult of times. I found myself driving through 3 states for over 6 hours with a mind full of anger and protest, a radio screaming the most undesirable deals and a traffic too stubborn to budge.
But there I was, breathing slowly as ever, focusing on each breath I inhaled, and with every exhaled breath, I released a part of my protest. I defeated the words that were dying to escape my mouth and soon I was looking at my destination with a renewed mind without an inch of me in turmoil.
And last and most important …
4. BE YOU
Words can hurt you, but they do not define you. You may feel a lacking of sense of self and lost respect, but one incident or a few words do not define what you have built for yourself. Your identity is NOT at risk, but it will be at risk if you choose to react.
The best reaction is no reaction and can save you from unwanted mental and emotional stress. Believe in yourself and place your peace of mind at the top of your priority list. There is nothing more important than your happiness !
I hope my experience can offer some insight towards handling difficult times in a peaceful manner. While the best reaction is no reaction, I would appreciate you making an exception this one time and sharing your reactions to this post 😉
Carpe Diem !