The Third F

At any given moment, the next person in your office is going to arrive in a perturbed state. The reason may be either bona fide or an irrationalization.  Whichever the source, there is an emotional storm in progress. The primitive brain responds to the threat with either the natural survival reaction of either fight or flight. But saber-toothed tigers are extinct. Yet the primitive visceral response remains in control.

In the modern era, there is a third path, Freeze. Unless life is truly immediately at risk, try the Freeze. This is a pragmatic response to another’s emotional storming – the ravaging rant & rave will subside when the response is a calm, respectful, listening serenity.

The freeze is the only emotionally mature response. Look at the other person in the eye and say,

“I want to understand you. I want to listen to your story as much as I want you to hear mind.”

Donna Hicks, Ph.D. in dignity

At Your Service.


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