Respond not React

I read a quote from Buddha today: “Do not learn how to react. Learn how to respond.” It started a conversation I was having with a friend. I was talking about how to handle difficult conversations with people that push your buttons or those that do not have the tools yet to be aware of their impact on others. My friend reminded me of how fighters “roll with the punches.” When a punch is coming at a fighter, if they move with the punch there is less impact.


Instead of trying to react to someone with negative energy because you are triggered, you respond from a calm place being in the present moment. Instead of trying to force someone to heal what they have not yet healed, you show by example. It is all about how you respond.

I know in my past before I did my work, I would react whenever I was triggered. I have to admit at that point in my life, I attracted a lot of drama. In a way, I fed off the drama. It made me feel alive and heard. Yet it was an exhausting way to live.

Once I learned the tools on how to handle my triggers and be present in the moment with kindness, things began to change for me. As with anything, this is a practice. It is not something you just learn and always do. You have to be aware of it, check inside before you speak and practice it.

As humans, we will slip up and make mistakes. Yet if we make a conscious effort to respond instead of react, things are so much easier

+Michelle DeBerge

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About the Author Michelle DeBerge

Michelle has over 20 years experience in coaching, leadership and motivation. She is passionate about creating a community for growth, healing and support. She has been recognized for her work both locally and nationally. She inspires audiences and clients with her down to earth stories of struggle and growth. She believes that being authentic has been the key to her success.

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