bad ways to respond in a crisis

5 Bad Ways to Respond in a Crisis

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We had some unforeseen, unprecedented weather in our area a few years ago. It was colder than it had ever been and the homes in our neighborhood were not built for this kind of weather. On top of that, the power went out almost everywhere. We were in a crisis. Water lines were breaking in almost every house, causing flooding and destruction. We went door to door helping people turn off their water and finding the leaks. We cleaned for days in freezing temps to help people in the middle of crisis.

Throughout history, we have seen great men rise to incredible standards in the middle of hard times. Some will say that those moments will make you or break you. It is not “if” but “when” a crisis will hit you, your family, or your community. How you handle it will determine a lot. Here are 5 bad ways to respond in a crisis.

1. Irrationally

When crisis hits, some of us become illogical or unreasonable in the middle of the situation. We act as if we’re going to face the worst-case scenario. But we have to fight against throwing away reason like that. Our response should be rooted in the reality of what is actually happening instead of in a scenario you’ve conjured up in your mind. In order not to be irrational, you have to ask yourself, “What do I know to be true?” This question can remind you to assess the situation and respond with truth, not senseless scenarios or absurd ways of thinking.

2. By Isolating

Men tend to lean into isolation as a natural defense against heartache. We avoid helping people and we avoid receiving help from others. It is much easier for us to distance ourselves than actually face what is going on around us. Don’t be that guy. Be the man who brings everyone together in the middle of a crisis and sees the opportunity to grow together. Your family will not remember what Dad did wrong in a crisis—they will remember when Dad was the glue that held everything together.

3. Angrily

When you respond out of anger, you likely will leave more damage when the crisis is over. Anger can sometimes be a great motivator, but when you sit in your anger with things falling apart around you, it doesn’t help you or anyone in the situation. It causes more uncertainty, more chaos, and more damage when anger is the source of your response. Remaining calm deescalates the situation and allows everyone to process what’s happening with a clear mind.

4. Impulsively

Being impulsive is dangerous because you are failing to think long-term about the situation and for the most part are only worried about yourself. When things get hairy, your desire is to do something that only helps you and your cause for success. If you’re impulsive, then when the fire starts, you clear the building first instead of helping those around you. Take a deep breath, look around to see who needs your help, and slow down in the middle of the crisis.

5. By Imploding

This is the four responses above piled all together. Those who implode during the crisis, bring down everything around them. They seem to cause even more distraction than the current situation. This person didn’t implode by accident; there were many factors in place before the crisis. The key here is not waiting to deal with your junk until a crisis hits. If you have struggles that you haven’t dealt with, take care of them before the next crisis by seeing a professional, or talking with a trusted friend. If you are already at 50% when crisis hits, it will cut you at the knees and take you out.

Sound off: What are some other bad ways to respond in a crisis?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How do you respond when things get difficult?”