Reactions are instant, impulsive and emotional. But responses are planned and well foresighted. Responses are more constructive than reactions. Uncle Google somewhat agreed to my definition.

Uncle Google differentiates reaction & response  as under –


There is a huge difference between reacting and responding. A reaction is typically quick, without much thought, tense and aggressive. A response is thought out, calm and non-threatening. A reaction typically provokes more reactions – perpetuating a long line of hatefulness with nothing accomplished.

I was just thinking about our day to day behaviors and dealings with our family members, the people in our communities or at our work places. In all our dealings emotions play a bigger role in the way we react to different people and situations. And these reactions are shown non-verbally or verbally depending upon our guts. For example, when our boss in the office scolds us in fronts of others our face hangs down in embarrassment or in anger. This is non-verbal reactions to a person or the situation. But when a colleague scolds us or misbehaves with us we talk back or shout back at him/her. That will be considered as our verbal reactions to the situations or to the people.

The important fact is our reactions are mostly negative and begets more negative situations or reactions as the Uncle Google explained it in his definition mentioned above.

Psychology today defines reactions like this:


A reaction is instant. It’s driven by the beliefs, biases, and prejudices of the unconsciousmind. When you say or do something “without thinking,” that’s the unconscious mind running the show. A reaction is based in the moment and doesn’t take into consideration long term effects of what you do or say. A reaction is survival-oriented and on some level a defense mechanism. It might turn out okay but often a reaction is something you regret later.

The Bible says,



p style=”text-align:justify;”>A soft and gentle and thoughtful answer turns away wrath,
But harsh and painful and careless words stir up anger.

Watch the above words carefully… SoftGentle and Thoughtful. The word ‘thoughtful’ makes it clear that the answer would be well planned, positive and slow. That is why the impact was greater, positive and beneficial: turns away wrath.

Whereas words like, HarshPainful and Careless are usually spoken in haste and without thinking even twice. This hastiness is our reactions which beget more negativities: stirs up anger, whereas a thoughtful answer is a well-constructed response.

Again I would like to quote that article on Psychology Today:


A response on the other hand usually comes more slowly. It’s based on information from both the conscious mind and unconscious mind. A response will be more “ecological,” meaning that it takes into consideration the well-being of not only you but those around you. It weighs the long term effects and stays in line with your core values.

Really loved the differentiation of response and reaction explained in the above article.

I would like to explain 5 valid factors that determine why we should choose Response over Reactions. They are as follows:


Time Taken: Reactions are hasty; Responses are slow and time-taking. Hastiness is a sign of immaturity whereas  matured people always take time to decide and take their steps.


Goal Oriented: Reactions are erratic; Responses are well directed keeping the bigger picture in mind. We all know well directed and well aimed at are usually bring results. When we realize how this specific situation fits into our overall goals and objectives it will be easier to respond aiming at the goals.


End Results: Reactions provokes more negativity; Responses are positively impacting. Reactions usually bring about more negativity and worsen the relationships, situations etc. But responses usually impacts positively. We have already analysed how harsh words stir up anger etc.


Self or Others: Reactions are self-centered; Responses are wholesome and beneficial for all. Reactions precede from our subconscious self and very harmful. They come out without our notice and without a thought. Reactions are very self-centered. Whereas responses are beneficial to self and to others as well. Responses are always compassionate and kind to all, Self and Others.


Closed or Open: Reactions are narrow; Responses are open with more choices to choose. Reactions come when we don’t know or think we don’t have any other options than just behaving in a certain way towards the person or situation. But when we realize that we always have choices, we consider them with a response before moving forward with our reactions.

Whether we are at our workplaces dealing with our colleagues, bosses or any situations, whether we are in a family situation with our loved ones around us we should always be careful about our reactions which really don’t help. Always giving time to ourselves will help us to respond.

Let’s choose response over reaction from now on and measure the benefits in our life. 

Stay Blessed!!! 



Communication and interaction are absolutely two different things altogether.

Communication is the act of conveying intended meaning to another entity through the use of mutually understood signs and semiotic rules.

Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another.

The expression “an effect upon one another,” made me think about the importance of interaction. It does not merely refer to communicating or letting each other know of some intended information but also to have an effect upon one another.


My wife always tells me that I am very good with people. I can easily mix with people and start a conversation on any topic of interest.  And I have seen my wife to be very good with children. She interacts so well with them that they rarely feel like leaving her.

But sometimes we both do struggle to relate to and make ourselves part of a certain group of people or start a conversation with a particular person or child.

Throughout the week we have discussed many things on the topic of ‘Dynamics of Interactions’ from different writers and I would like to conclude with THREE words that will help us to “have an effect upon one another,” – I mean help us to interact with others.

I call them RIP in short… Lol, it’s not ‘Rest in Peace’ but something else which I have mentioned as under:

Respect: I have seen people talking rudely, sarcastically, with pride, being boastful and sometimes humiliating others. These kinds of people switch off the minds of others for themselves the next time they are seen. When we show respect to others, they feel safe with us and they know that they won’t be mistreated with our company.

So respect is something which helps us to have an effect upon one another.

Interest: Suppose you are in a group where a certain conversation is going on and you start talking something else in between, that is considered improper. Show interest in others and they will find you interesting too.

Patience: This is another aspect that helps us to keep an impact on others and people feel like interacting with you. Patience is inevitable in any kind of interaction.

RIP is not something to be maintained step by step but happens all together in different proportions during any interaction. The length of the interaction will depend on how strong the RIP system of a person involved is.

I accidentally met a person online. We started interacting. We started feeling an urge to continue the friendship. We called each other. We shared our family matters and even exchanged information about our family members with each other. And we are now partnering in our writing business together in Candles Online.

And it all happened within just 3 months of time. It happened because we both had a very good RIP system.

So check your RIP system today before getting into an interaction…

Stay Blessed!!!


Usually when I search for quotes I search it in a site called “Brainy Quote.” Today also I found some very thought provoking quotes from this site on human interactions which are as follows:

“Social media is an amazing tool, but it’s really the face-to-face interaction that makes a long-term impact.”  – Felicia Day

“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.”  – Margaret Heffernan

“Real answers need to be found in dialogue and interaction and, yes, our shared human condition. This means being open to one another instead of simply fighting to maintain a prescribed position.”  – Malcolm Boyd

The above quotes make it clear that face to face interactions in anyway are so very important in life. Always crave for it.

Stay Blessed!!!




Effective interpersonal communication requires active interchange of verbal messages and non-verbal cues between the people involved. Imagine a classroom situation where the teacher is teaching but the students have put their heads down and are in no mood to listen to what is being taught. This is an example of ineffective communication even though the teacher is playing her part well. In this case, effective communication happens when the students sit up straight and listen to what the teacher is teaching, some keep nodding their heads as a gesture of understanding and some raise their hands to get their doubts clarified or to answer the questions asked by the teacher. Hence, decent verbal expression skills by one party and focused listening by the other, renders communication effective.

The golden rule is: Don’t just hear, LISTEN. Surface hearing results in unclear understanding and the consequence is – miscommunication, which may lead to a lot of chaos and confusion.

 There was this lady at the Confectioner’s who had to order her supplies for the next day from a new shop as her regular supplier was out of town. She called up the new shop late at night and ordered for ‘12 dozen eggs’. The consignment was to be delivered at her doorstep within an hour before the shop closed for the day. The doorbell rang in 45 minutes and there was this guy from the shop handing over ‘12 eggs’ to her!!! Imagine the lady’s bewilderment! On enquiry it turned out that the person who had picked up the phone had heard it wrongly, hence the miscommunication.

Well, this incident may bring a smile to our lips. But, there are other instances where careless listening results in disasters. Just think if a pilot hears a ‘NO’ when he asks the ground crew for landing permission, as ‘YES’ and steers the aircraft to descend, what would happen?

Listening is an art. Patient listening is a virtue.

Attentive listening is one of the important ‘communication essentials’!


Human beings are blessed with an ability to communicate in languages that other animals lack, yet we land up in a million instances of misunderstanding and miscommunication in our daily lives. Why does that happen even if two people talk in the same language? Very simply because the interpretation of the words could be different for different people!

Interpretation of language is different based on different cultures. I get reminded of one instance in my life when I was in the US working for a US MNC. The American guy who was my lead would always say, “We can solve this problem in this particular way. Could we try this by the end of this week?” What he meant to ask me was if I could try to solve this problem by end of this week. He was asking me for a commitment. But he never said as “Can you do this?” He would always say, “Could we do this?” This confused me so much initially. I was perplexed as to what he was really asking me to do. Did he expect me to do this work on my own or does he want to do together with me? Only with time I understood what was meant by “We” in his statements.

Interpretation of language also differs when different people talk in different context. For example, one of my cousins would always start a conversation from the middle. Out of the blue she would just say, “You know what happened with that person…” and we are totally lost as to which person and what point of time is she talking about. We used to make a lot of fun of her for this. But then this also used to be serious problem in communicating with her.

I did a short training on leadership at my work and I learnt something very essential to powerful communication. Although, training mostly was given in context professional communication yet these essentials can be applied to all the types of communications.

5 Stages of communication

Following are the stages of a good communication. So, when you talk to somebody keep in mind to follow these stages especially if it is a difficult conversation.


This stage is how you open a conversation. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” “There has been something I wanted to talk to you about” “We need to talk about a few things” “There are some issues that need our attention”. These are the examples of how to open your conversation. The way you open a talk could scare another person or make him/her nervous. So it is very important to keep a good open attitude in your tone.


Once you open the conversation, you need to clarify what you need to talk about. Describe what the problem is and why it needs attention. Or explain what your concerns are. Again be extremely open in your attitude so that the other person doesn’t feel cornered or imposed upon.


This is the stage when the other person starts to share what s/he feels about the situation. It is important to ask open ended questions rather than closed ended questions at this stage. A good example could be “What do you think about this idea?” rather than asking “Do you like this idea?” This is the stage where conversation goes on and on. Also most of the arguments or clarifications happen in this stage. So, it is very important to keep yourself open and inviting in this stage.


Based on the discussion that happened in previous stage, you come to a certain conclusion. What is the agreement? Do both of you agree with what has been decided? If not, then Develop stage was not done very well. Reach an agreement or a conclusion which makes both of you comfortable.


Finally, close the conversation by thanking the other person and appreciating him/her.

Even if you are talking to your spouse or child, it makes a world of difference if you just keep these 5 stages in mind. Almost every conversation goes through Develop stage, but if Open and Clarify are not done properly, a lot of misunderstandings can crop up in Develop stage and Agree stage might never happen.

5 Pillars of communication

There are also 5 pillars of communication that each one of us should keep in mind to have a healthy communication.


Always try to uplift the other person’s esteem. Even if s/he has done something terrible, it is important that the person’s esteem should not go down.


This is one pillar that most of us never use. It is very important to step into other person’s shoe and feel what s/he might be going through. Every time you communicate, remember to empathize to gain the confidence of the other person. This would take your conversation to a different level.


When talking about issues and problems, ask the person how s/he wants to contribute. Tell him/her that you need help. If esteem and empathy is taken care of, the involvement of the other person should just happen.


Nobody likes to be preached, it really helps if you share your concerns, fears, good/bad experiences along the conversation. Sharing with a clean heart makes the other person feel more comfortable and at ease.


You obviously need to support the other person in every way that you can. Most of us never ask this question to our spouse – “What can I do to support you?” and yet this is the most powerful and giving question of any conversation. It is easy to ask for support but it is important that from time to time we offer our support as well.

Different conversations focus on different pillars. There could be talks which demand a lot of esteem, empathy and support. There could be other talks which could be revolving only around involvement and share. So, it really depends on what is the context of the conversation.

Keep these communication stages and communication pillars in mind always. Together they make the foundation of communication essentials and can take your relationship to an all-new level.