Three choices and which do you choose? In this article we are going to discuss freeze. For the purposes of this article we use the word freeze to mean; pause, clam-up, that stunned look, or any other word that means when someone starts in on you verbally you just sit there.
Most people only talk about the fight or flight response to stress but I think more people actually freeze up rather than do either of the other two. When the going gets tough the mind vanished and it is like you take the batteries out of the toy. It sits there getting hammered.
Here is one of the many possible examples. You are “discussing” something with your partner and the voices start to get louder and then there is only one voice. Yours somehow does not work anymore. Your partner starts yelling, “There you go again, giving me the silent treatment. " But you have things to say you just cannot seem to get your tongue and brain to work in unison. Later the frustration sets in because you think you had something to say.
What happened? Well everyone’s brain responds to stress differently because of our unique life experiences. Some people, the one’s that freeze, seem to deal with unpleasant circumstances by ‘checking out’.
Where does their mind go? It is difficult to say exactly, but basically it goes everywhere. Doing that there is too much going on for them to focus on any one thing and they just overload, and seem to pop a fuse and do nothing.
What can you do about it? I think this one is more challenging than if a person responds with flight or fight. The reason is the easiest way out of this coping strategy is to get other's help. How they help is just wait for you to get your thoughts in order and sooner or more likely later you will give them an answer. If you're dealing with a spouse or someone you have an ongoing relationship explain to them that you don't like to give immediate responses. Explain to them that you are not “giving the silent treatment" but actually listening and will respond in your time.
I know several people who have conditioned themselves to respond this way to stress. It can get triggered by asking them where they would like to go for supper. They will just stand there and stare at me. I politely wait and after what can seem like a remarkably long time they come back with an answer.
This is the hard part for some of the people in your circle of friends, to wait. It can be very frustrating for people to wait 10 seconds for an answer, that in their own mind they have answered fifty different ways. Never mind having to wait 2-3 minutes for an answer, which can easily happen.
If you are a ‘freezer’ type person and want to make a step towards better self-confidence then talk to a couple of close friends about letting you answer for yourself, even if it takes a couple of minutes to do so. You will be glad you did, because once you realize you have the answers in you they will start to arrive sooner and sooner. In no time you will be able to answer a question right away. That in the old days the same question would have taken you several minutes to answer, if anyone would wait that long.
Take the chance and let people see you de-frost, you will be glad you did.
Did you find those tips on building self confidence or handling stressful situations? Go to Building Bullet Proof Self Confidence. self confidence