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Take Time to Pause and Think

I came across a quote recently which read “A 90 second pause is the difference between a reaction and a response”.

Not sure if you’ve ever even thought of the difference between a reaction and a response in any great detail before or not, but it led me to realise there is a big difference in that a reaction might typically end in a bad outcome, where is a response is likely to have a better outcome.

This led me to further think about how often we do stop or pause and think. About what we are doing, want to do, or how we might react or have reacted in the past, and whether after a 90-second pause a response providing a more favourable outcome would have occurred.

Either way, taking a pause to think, consider or ponder before responding or reacting could prevent conflict, an argument, making a wrong decision or putting ourselves into a situation we can’t easily get out of.

If we consider any situation that happens isn’t usually something that is necessarily planned for, that triggers something in us creating a reaction, which ends either in a good or bad outcome. Depending on the situation, the people involved and the reaction.

Having a 90-second pause enables you to consider the situation even if very briefly to consider what response might be that would be mutually beneficial to both or all parties.

How might we do this? Well the quote continued with the following steps.

  1. Take a deep breath – this gives us time to keep or remain calm and gives us the chance to think
  2. Taking a deep break helps prevent the urge to act impulsively which is likely to not end well for either party
  3. Whilst taking this 90-second pause and deep breath, consider how your feeling, what does it feel like, name it so you can identify better what is going on inside
  4. Consider the bigger picture i.e. it’s not always about ‘us’, rather maintaining or protecting relationships and our future with others, so we need to put our ego to one side
  5. Lastly, during this 90-second pause whilst we’re considering all this, we have time to consider the consequences of any response and determine what our options might be, and there are always more than one

So, next time you have something happen to you or said to you where you’ve previously reacted and it hasn’t turned out particularly well, consider taking time out to pause and think even just for 90-seconds to give a response rather than react.

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