Thursday, 24 July 2014

Personal Crisis Management - Don't Make Things Worse

You were given some bad news. You have the most awful day at work. Your husband/wife/lover/cat walked away from you without a backward glance. You are so broke, identity thieves don't even want to know...whatever happened to put you in Crisis...DON'T MAKE IT WORSE.

People who are hurting, hurt other people.

They don't mean to, but when the shit goes down, they lash out. Their nearest and dearest end up paying the price of their hurting. Don't worry, you're not alone. This is one demon I fight with on a regular basis. It's really hard to resist turning into Snappy Bitch from Hell, when your world has turned to ashes. You're really angry, frustrated and disappointed and you think that things can't get any worse.

In my experience, there's always a worse option waiting.

You are made redundant, in a fury you drive home and get a speeding ticket, or cause an accident. 

You are rejected and someone tries to help, you snap at them.

Don't Make Things Worse should be an entire book, not just a single blog post. But I want to cover some of the essentials to bear in mind, when the shit hits the fan.

First off. If you are in crisis, you are not going to be in your most rational mind. That's not a criticism, it's a fact and it's okay. It really is okay. If you are in emotional shock, although you aren't going to want to attend to yourself, the first thing you need is emotional First Aid. 

Be gentle with yourself. 

You have no control over what other people do, or what they say. Your focus must be on your emotional good health. 

Be gentle with yourself.

I want you to imagine your Personal Crisis - what you think and how you feel as a storm. You are standing in an open field and the rain of your thoughts pounds around you, while your feelings buffet against you.

Even though it's really hard, hold on to the thought that the storm will pass. You don't have to believe anything you think or anything you feel. Despair, loneliness, grief...all of these may attack you...but they will pass. This is part of the process. Let the wind blow, let the rain fall. You are hurting. It will mess up your hair and make you wet to the bone, but stand tall in the field. Nothing here is permanent.

It will pass.

Cry your way through a box of tissues. Play the depressing songs. Be how you are in the moment. Don't be afraid to say how it is to people around you. If you're in the midst of a crisis, don't waste energy on trying to appear like you're keeping it together. Chances are it won't work and frankly, you've got to conserve your energy. You'll just appear to be more crazy than you really are. Plus, if you tell it like it is, you'll give people around you the opportunity to support you. 

Be confident in the fact the storm will pass. Storms always do. It might take awhile. It might test your resilience to the core. But it will pass. How did the ad in the 80's go? Don't make a drama out of a crisis. The important thing is not to lay waste to everything important around you, so when the sun comes out and you're looking at the remains of your life in a muddy field, you don't have extra bits to rebuild. 

The more gentle you can be with yourself at this stage, the better. You are more likely to be gentle with the people around you and the stronger your primary relationships will be. And you know what? This isn't a science. Be prepared to screw things up despite your best efforts. It's okay. It's to be expected because you are in the midst of a crisis and you're not properly yourself right now. 

Be as mindful as you are able and when your aren't, apologise. It's okay. It's to be expected. Acknowledge when you've got it wrong. You will give yourself the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and it will nurture the relationships around you. Keep breathing, keep putting one step in front of the other. You're not alone. 

I hope this is useful to you. Please share your thoughts on this post, below in the comments. I really would like to know what you think.


  1. Best thing I did recently was buy a car with cruise control. Now, when I'm late or upset or whatever, I switch it on and can't drive too fast. I also talk to myself a lot, especially when I'm complaining. I don't need to say it all twice.

    1. You are the last person I would ever describe as a complainer. Perhaps you're hiding that side of yourself?

      Sounds like you have your strategy to get through things pretty sorted to me. Cruise control sounds like an excellent way of not being a demon behind the wheel.



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