I got less than satisfactory highlights in my hair the other day, and I'll be honest, I really started to lose my temper over it. They were expensive, and I wasn't sure how or when I could get them corrected. I began to panic and grow frustrated that I didn't trust my intuition telling me not to try this new salon.
"How bad could it be? They're highlights," I (my ego) reasoned with myself. I went anyway and saw why my intuition told me not to go. As I was in the middle of fussing about the waste of time and money the whole thing was, my brother slowed me down by reminding me that it wasn't a bad haircut I had to wait to grow out. I could just get the color corrected. He also encouraged me to request a refund, which I did and received. I called a friend's salon, and they could see me the next day to fix everything. Within a matter of minutes, I was on the path to a solution.
The point of the story is to demonstrate the difference between reacting and responding. I first chose to react by getting emotional about my hair and losing my temper. The result of that was me losing my temper and wasting a lot of energy being emotional rather than finding a solution.
What my brother helped me to do was to respond. That is, he helped me take the situation in stride with logic and reason. Women aren't very reasonable when it comes to things like their hair, but my energy would have been far better spent on finding a solution from the get go, rather than getting upset. When you respond, you slow down, look at the positive, take a moment to be honest with yourself and your situation, and find an appropriate solution.
Responding takes practice because you are often creating a new decision pathway. It is far easier to react, but every time you react you just make it easier to react without reason the next time. Responding can take time and effort, but it is well worth your investment in energy.
I clearly failed on this occasion, and we all do sometimes. We're humans. We're not happy all the time, but the more you can engage a response and even-keeled temper, the better off you'll be in the long run. I hope you'll practice responding with me today because you can!