Reactive Or Receptive?

Do you find yourself being more reactive or receptive? Most people are familiar with the amygdala. Or, at least, what the amygdala manages, which is the fight, flight or freeze sensory part of the brain. 

I understand most folks do not go through the day with this question being a top-of-mind priority. But, since you are here, indulge me for two-and-a-half more minutes. 

When statements are made, is your natural tendency to go on the defense? If so, you are in the reactive mode. The result is that distance is being created between you and the other person.

When in the fight-flight-freeze mode, the relationship is not growing but diminishing. This is true whether the other person is your spouse, child, boss, preacher, God, etc. 

The receptive part of the brain is triggered when you feel safe. The knot, tenseness, anxiousness, and stress you feel while in the reactive state fade away when you feel a sense of safety. The blood pressure and heart rate normalize. The facial muscles and vocal cords relax. 

Now, you are ready to engage with what is being said and are prepared to receive it. Rather than creating distance, the receptive state draws you closer. The distance between you diminishes.

You are not responsible for another’s responses. However, you can create a receptive atmosphere rather than a reactive one. In so doing, you can develop a sense of safety. And the result of feeling safe is to open up and be receptive. 

The physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual parts of us will always excel with the receptive rather than the reactive. If you can achieve the receptive, you can truly say, “It is well with my soul.”

“If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18—AMP).

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