Thursday, September 19, 2013

Here Comes the Tiger!

English: A Bengal tiger in the wild in Rantham...
Bengal tiger (Photo: Wikipedia)
by Linda Hancock

If the door opened right now and a big ferocious tiger wandered in, what would you do? There are three basic responses that people might choose:

  1. RUN - Some people would turn and flee as quickly as their legs would take them in the other direction. They might climb on top of something or try to find a place to hide but their fear would definitely put them in a retreat mode.
  2. FIGHT - Others may reach for something in the immediate vicinity that they could use to hit the tiger or protect themselves from it. They might stand firm and try to stare the tiger down.
  3. FREEZE - A third group of individuals might be like the opossum and just become immobile, pretending that they are dead and, at the same time, hoping that they will be ignored or passed over because of this.

Psychologically there are three responses to trouble that people tend to adopt in their personal lives: flight, fight or freeze and if you are wondering which might be your style, just think about the tiger situation above.

The answer that you come up with will likely represent the manner in which you tend to approach any type of trouble that enters your life.

Unfortunately, you might not be able to run fast enough or find a suitable hiding place in order to protect yourself from the trouble. Those who fight might not escape the teeth and claws of the difficulties plaguing them.

And, of course, those who freeze, will not likely feel that they have had any assertive influence on the outcome. They may, in fact, actually become upset over the fact that they didn't know what to do or didn't act in a manner that would have helped them to maintain a sense of dignity.

Well, there are situations in life when it might be best to run. If there are people in your life who are up to "no good" and want you to join them, then sprinting in the other direction is a good choice.

If you are being abused or neglected, then fighting for your rights will likely be your best choice.

At times, we all need to consider options available so that we will not act too impulsively so "playing possum" may be appropriate in certain situations.

There is a fourth response, however, that often gives you the best results in the long run.

FEED THE TIGER!

You see, tigers usually come after you because they are hungry. If you feed them, they will head for a tree and fall asleep underneath it in contentment. They likely won't wake up again until they are hungry and need to find something to eat.

Government agencies are like hungry tigers. They come after you for your annual Income Tax return, Child Support payments or medical documentation to support your insurance claim. If you try to dodge the tiger you will soon face a pack of tigers who will all be stalking you!

Instead of letting your fear or lack of skills interfere with your actions, get some help. Psychologists are trained to help individuals to deal with their tigers.

Are there tigers in your life right now? Will you run, fight, or freeze? Perhaps you will make a better and more responsible decision and feed the tiger. I think you (and the tiger) will be glad you did!

And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com

From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker.

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