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Reaction vs Response – Which Is the Real You?

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Last week my partner rung me because he was stuck at work and could I pick him up? I had just finished work myself and was just sinking onto the sofa so I said I’d rather not I’m so tired – can someone there drop you home? He said he’d asked and we hung up. About a minute later I called him back and apologized of course I would pick him up – I felt awful that I had even hesitated. My issue now is that I can’t get past my initial reaction despite the fact that my response was a positive one. What I want to know is which is a true indication of me as a person? I can’t seem to find a satisfactory answer online to is it your reaction or your response that denotes your values and morals. I feel awful that my first reaction was to be selfish and I feel that shows who I really am. Thanks

Reaction vs Response – Which Is the Real You?

Answered by on -


People make mistakes. You were tired, very tired. You quickly, within one minute and despite your tiredness, recognized the error of your ways. You then sought to correct your error and did so. You felt guilty, apologized and made it right. That’s all anyone could ask of you.

If you had not been tired, and if you had not just sat down the very moment the phone rang, you may have had a different reaction. When people are tired, they are not always at their best. They lack energy and clarity of mind. They might say or do things that they normally would not say or do. That’s because they are tired; not because they are bad people. It happens to all of us.

What happened was perfectly understandable and forgivable. It’s human to make mistakes. You quickly realized your error and corrected it. If it had been the reverse, and your partner had done the same thing to you, you would have likely quickly forgiven them. It’s time to forgive yourself. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Reaction vs Response – Which Is the Real You?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Reaction vs Response – Which Is the Real You?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 May 2018 (Originally: 15 May 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 May 2018
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