The 3-Rs: Respect, Respond, Relax! Again, this is my own version of a certain 3-R rule I was taught when I went to the underwater diving school in San Diego California, back in 1981.
Tony Zimos, rest his soul, taught me a great many things, most of which I would not understand until much later in life. His version was Regain Control, Respond, React. But here’s the thing: there is a massive difference between reacting and responding. Simply put, the former is acting on instinct or impulse, and the latter takes a thought-driven pragmatic approach. Never react, always respond! The great thing about responding is the more you practice it, the quicker it becomes a trait; a positive one at that. Soon, if practiced enough, one can not tell the difference between responding and reacting. There is still a thin line between the two, and it becomes easier to notice if you responded to something verses reacting to it especially when you later look at it in hindsight.
Respect for others comes easily for HSPs, it’s inherent in our trait. Believe in yourself and respect the world around you. By the way, Fear drowns out respect. Respond, take time to think about a course of action, then implement it. Some might say “Yeah, but what if you find yourself in a situation that gives you little time to think?” My response would be, “yes that happens, but act accordingly, and try not to make it a habit. Practice responding to every opportunity you can.” For example, if someone wants to get into an argument with you, don’t react with words, respond by saying, “let me think about that.” Then do just that, think! The more you practice it, the easier it gets.
The finally, Relax. Body tension can create a barrier to any situation. As HSP’s we sense it in others to a high degree. No doubt others may sense it in you, so relax. Trust yourself in your decision-making process. As Tony always said, “make a decision lieutenant any decision, just make one”. It was Tony’s way of saying making decisions do not always have to be right, but the more you practice making one, the easier it gets and in doing so the outcomes tend to improve as well. I have literally saved not just my life, but the lives of others over the years by living this 3-R rule.