Monday, 2 May 2016

What you do when someone you love is very upset

You just want to be left alone when you are upset, this is normal.
The person I share most of my time with had a delay on an opportunity to advance her career because of a timely error.

She undoubtedly got very upset about the outcome. Now having to wait possibly until next year, if not achieving a late entry into her masters program.

When you want something so bad and you work so hard into achieving that goal. All that effort seems to be taken away from you.

What do you do when you get upset?

I realized there are stages depending on the level of how upset you are, let's talk about the extreme level. For example someone you love died, and before I get into it this can be different for everyone.

Stage 1:

Anger, resentment, rage. You are furious and irritable at everything and everyone in your path. You place blame on everything around you.

"The angry man wishes the object of his anger to suffer in return; hatred wishes it's object not to exists" - Aristotle 
Stage 2:

Self doubt, self hate, and self blame. In this stage everything is your fault. You blame yourself using the "why did I do this, or why did I not do that". Trying to fix the past as if it were the present. 

Love and affection is needed here.

Stage 3:

Vulnerability. You feel helpless and you need reassurance that you did a good job and all is not lost. There is still hope.

Those are the stages that I observed that my partner went through. These stages don't have a time limit as to how long they can last. Some may last for long periods of time. 

It is recommended to seek professional help if it lasts a really long time, months or years, because it can damage a person mentally.

How can you be there for someone? 

What I found is that it is important to approach the person that is upset at the right stage.

Stage 1:

Stay away. Get out of the line of fire. Keep your comments to yourself (especially with woman, do not try and fix anything ever, they just want to be heard. I have a whole post dedicated to this subject about woman).

Stage 2:

Be there to listen. This is when empathy plays a major role in what transpired.

Stage 3:

Hug that person and make them feel loved. This is the most important stage for being there for that person who really needs you. Not your advice, just your sympathetic words for support, and physical touch. You release a hormone called oxytocin, it indirectly suppress cortisol which is a response hormone to stress. This makes the other person feel a little better about their reaction to the outcome.

If you are the one that is upset then after stage 1 the best you can do is focus on coming up with possible solutions to the problem. How you react will determine your outcome. You can be negative about it and give up, or you can be solution driven.

There is always another possible way even if you cannot clearly see it when you are flared up with strong emotions.

What you choose to do with this information is up to you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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