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Thanks to Harley M Storey, the Life Coach Toolman for the following posting:

It has been said that being in relationship is a great way to grow. This is because, we automatically encounter OUR unresolved issues, and often theirs as well! We have all experienced other people, especially those we are closest to (family?), pushing our “buttons” and prompting issues that we are sensitive about.So what do we do when other people “push our buttons?” We have a choice to react – or respond.

When we react, we are usually not giving much thought to what we are doing, this can easily become a fully fledged argument if the other person also reacts without thinking.

By responding, rather than reacting, we have made space where we can consider the situation and decide the best way to handle things.Responding consists of patience, humility and intelligence.

Patience, because we are holding back from reacting straight away and often inflaming the situation.

Humility, because it feels good to react with a sarcastic comeback or put down.

Intelligence, because we understand that in the long run a compassionate response is the best way to handle the situation and enhance and maintain our relationships.Communication is also really important because if we know that our partner or friend is having a difficult day and under stress – we understand that the reason they may have spoken harshly is NOT ABOUT US, but because of what THEY are dealing with.The next time you are spoken unkindly to, try responding by asking “Are you ok? Are you having a difficult day?” Then watch their jaws drop and their face soften!I put this approach to the test myself when I went to my local Postal Office recently. The lady serving me was extremely rude. However, rather than responding in anger, I decided to try the compassionate approach. I visited a bakery, bought a large chocolate cookie, returned to the Post Office, gave it to her, and wished her a great day. Ever since, she has been very nice to me.

Know thou of a certainty that Love is the secret of God’s holy Dispensation.
Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 27

So like ‘Abdul-Bahá, I conclude that compassion gets better results than anger! What’s been your experience in responding instead of reacting?