Sunday, February 08, 2004

Dealing with disaster

"If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;"

Rudyard Kipling, "If" (you can find the whole poem here).

Those particular verses came to my head when thinking about the frustration that I have faced recently. If only I could start again from scratch as if nothing happened, as if what I witnessed was just a bad dream, as if I really believed that it was my imagination, that I misunderstood her acts...
Forget about the part of not speaking about the loss, it is all I do, I can not help it. The nightmarish part is that I see it happening again and again and I can't do anything, since it is all long gone, it belongs to the past. The whole scene is kept in a vault labelled "Not to be done again".
What I have now is a deep concern and a strong commitment to not take things so seriously, so "either black or white".
There are many types of frustration. There are many ways to cope with frustration. Rather than focusing in the taxonomy of fustration, I would like to state the ways tackle it. Only one of them is profitable, though: work on the problem and try to solve it using all your resorces. Besides that, people's responses tend to fall in one of this categories (please note that it is beyond the scope of this log to give lessons about anything, normally I would solve this situation with a link, but I did not find any clear webpage in english that exposed the following points; in spanish, you can check the main source I used here):

    * Agression: the person attacks something (person, object, situation) to cause harm.

    * Displacement: the person focus the feelings in some other thing, as a substitution.

    * Repression: the feelings, thoughts or memories that cause frustration are excluded (forbidden) from the person.

    * Negation: the person does not accept reality.

    * Fantasy: the person creates a fake reality that fits with what he expected.

    * Regression: the person goes back to a previous period or behaviour to feel safe.

    * Rationallilzation: the person gives acceptable justifications about beliefs, acts or motives that could otherwise be reflected in an unfavourable way to himself or society.

    * Projection of the unknown: the person sees in others his own unrecognized faults.

    * Assimilative projection: the person thinks that everybody else has the very same reasons and defects than him, "everybody does it".

    * Identification: the person assumes the role of somebody else.

    * Introjection: it is a process that follows identification, and it is defined as the incorporation of other people's personality as his own.

    * Sublimation: the person satisfies its sociable unacceptable desires by means of a sociable acceptable way.

    * Compensation: the person develops habilities or characteristics that counterbalance the cause of frustration.

    * Emotional isolation: the person adopts a passive attitude to isolate himself from pain.

    * Isolation: the person stops putting affective feelings into potentially damaging situations.

    * Anulation: expiation and hence neutralization of the cause.

    * Simpatization: the person makes an effort trying to win the simpathy of others, thus gaining self-esteem.

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