Thin line between “Reacting & Responding” to situations.

Hi Zoe family,

How are you all doing?

I hope you have received my birthday gift to you (both the soft copy and blog post?)

If yes, then you would know that this point I’m about to elaborate on is part of the nuggets to living a transformational life which I shared in the e-book.


Don’t react to situation, rather respond.

What really is the difference?

Reaction is typically quick, without much thought, tense and aggressive. Response takes time, is thought out, calm and non-threatening. Reaction is emotion filled while response removes all emotion.

Let me share an experience I had on Sunday with you.

So, I was trying to play with my music director in church during the course of the service – I was genuinely smiling at her and she was like, “Maureen what is it?” still smiling, ‘I said nothing’. Imagine!

The next thing I heard was “You will lead the song for offering”. Oh, my heart raced but I nodded my head in affirmation. In my mind I was thinking [why now?]. I couldn’t concentrate anymore: not because I couldn’t lead the song but it was impromptu and I wasn’t expecting that.

Nevertheless, I have to do it and I have no excuse not to (a music minister must be ever ready because you can be called upon at any time).

I started thinking of what song to sing, as a matter of fact I wrote some songs down and I kept staring at the book as if I had never seen those songs before. My heart was beating fast, the time for offering was drawing near and I became really tensed.

You might be wondering why right? Really, I don’t know too!

Well, it was time for offering – I took the song and it was very obvious I was not into it (at least that was what I thought).

I was really unhappy with myself and I allowed it to affect my mood.

I was meant to lead the second section but because I was already disorganized, I hurriedly left the altar.

Gosh! It was so annoying and I’m even laughing at myself right now.

We went back and someone else had to sing the song (and I stood there without a mic looking like some who misplaced something) and I was not smiling at all.

Altogether, the section didn’t go as it should have and it was due to my failure to respond to the situation; rather I reacted.

Of course my music minister complained and I felt really bad, not for her comment but my incompetence in handling a situation just because I felt pressured and thought I didn’t sing well.

However, I have learnt my lesson and I won’t let such happen again.

How should I respond to a situation?

The following tips will help us get through impromptu situations with professionalism and poise.

  1. Breathe – breathing will relax you and help you to remain calm and attentive. Wish I did this the moment she told me I was to lead.

  2. Maintain professionalism – keep your composure with a confident posture and non-verbal gestures. Avoid appearing defensive. If I had smiled and stood there confidently maybe things would have gone differently.

  3. Focus – if you were being asked a question, listen to what is being asked of you. Be sure you are understanding and answering the right question.

  4. Pause – take a moment to collect your thoughts before responding. Ask yourself some questions before responding.

  5. Repeat the question – this will give you a more time to think of your response. You can also paraphrase it to turn a negative question into a positive one.

Yes we can get ‘mentally flooded’ when faced with pressure but our response to a situation literally has the power to change the situation itself.

Learnt something from this?

Don’t forget to share!

Much love,


Ps: If you have any question or suggestion from “The Catalyst” don’t hesitate to contact me.

2 thoughts on “Thin line between “Reacting & Responding” to situations.”

  1. Hmmmm…there is just a thin line between responding and reacting to situations we find ourselves in! Our reactions and responds matters a lot.

    Glad you were able to pick out lessons from the situation.

    Thanks for sharing.

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