Reactions in Crisis Situations

We can suppose what others can experience in crisis situations. Generally, we are “impressed” by the cognitive and affective reactions of those caught in such a limit situation…but we can’t understand them emphatically because we can’t fully feel their feelings and we can’t live what they are living. Not really knowing the plentiful experiences which overwhelm other in those moments we even become indifferent at a certain time.

So allow me to share with you a similar experience that I recently lived. The feeling of being trapped or the helplessness of not having the control on an event makes people react in different ways:

Panic – a reaction based on an instinctive fear which appears immediately and dominates us in the first moments of a crisis. Then when people calm down and start thinking on possible ways out, the panic diminishes until it disappear. That’s why it’s very important to know these details so you don’t give in to panic’s destructive influence.

Conscious fear – once you calm down and begin to analyze the situation’s gravity you start feeling a conscious fear. Some of us show and try to share it. Others hide the fear under a defying attitude. The last ones are permanently talking, making jokes and they are being very dynamic. Like this they keep their mind busy and away from the real problem which scares them.

Self-isolation – the less courageous or pessimist ones shut down any communication isolating them in a corner. They share nothing of theirs emotions being an easy prey of their own negative thoughts.

Spreading rumors – when panic still persist and the authorities responsible for solving the crisis situation don’t inform the people involved, these ones start spreading rumors. Even at the beginning some of these rumors are based on partial truthful information they become “fairy tales” once the time passes.

Lack of interest for others – being together with other persons in a crisis moment doesn’t necessary strength the communication and interrelation…maybe just for small inter-groups. In fact every one is concerned for his safety and is trying to save him first.

Blaming the authorities – generally people have the tendency to merciless blame any external element for their situation. Even if there are cases when the authorities are doing anything possible to help them it’s not enough when you are in a limit situation.

I believe that the secret to resist in a crisis situation is to know how to control your instinctive behavior so you can let your mind work to find out reasonable solutions. And always remember not to panic! An open and clear mind can “save” you! – Psychologist, Nicoleta Cramaruc