Do you remember a time when everything appeared to overwhelm you? Things were way too much for you and you just couldn’t cope.
What did you do? Were you calm and collecting or wildly flailing around?
When I was in my teens, I enjoyed swimming and attended a life savers class. One thing that was impressed upon me is that if you are rescuing a drowning man then they have to be calm. If they are flailing around and panicking then attempting a rescue will not only endanger them, but you too.
It occurred to me recently that it’s not just drowning people who flail around. When you are dealing with major issues in your life you have a tendency to flail around wildly too.
Trouble is, as you are doing this, you are slapping away the hands that are trying to help you.
When you are in the midst of a crises, of any sort, take deep breaths from your stomach and stop. Stop worrying, stop panicking, stop trying to work out a solution and just be for a while.
From this vantage point in the eye of the storm, you will be able see the helping hands around you. You’ll be able to see the people who want to help and are trying to help who you’ve been pushing away. You’ll be able to see new ideas and opportunities that can help you out of it.
If someone you know is in this unresourceful state of panic, then, just as in the movies, you need to give them a slap to break their state so they can be more resourceful. This is usually, by the way, a metaphorical slap not a physical one. This could be through words, actions or showing them something. Do something outrageous and shocking that brings them to their senses.
I have one particular friend who recently entered this state. When he did he pushed everyone away who was trying to help.
I chose to give him a slap. I went to see him and told him the truth, unencumbered by niceties. I told him things exactly as they were, exactly how he was behaving.
Oddly enough he stopped in his tracks and looked stunned. Then suddenly his face changed and he hugged me and said, “Thank you, I’ve been such an ass”.
(For those that are interested, he then went on to deal with his problems and accept help from the people around him who cared for him).