Today I confronted a personal emergency. I’m sure you’ve all had some of these in your lifetime. Here’s how mine went down…
- Work Phone Rings
- Hello, this is Tracy…how can I help you?
- Hi Tracy, this is Grandma.
- Grandma?? Um, why are you calling me at work? Is everything ok?
- Your Dad is in the ER.
- Brain goes blank. Brain sends out stress signals. Brain needs help.
Everyone reacts to emergency situations in different ways. Some of us shove emotion aside and immediately go into action. Others panic, have emotional breakdowns, or freeze. Still others remain clam and handle the situation with ease.
I tend to go into immediate action mode – sometimes without thinking clearly enough. Today in my office, I was mentally out of my business suit and into my Catwoman suit long before the 30 second phone call with Grandma ended. I was ready to act (or react) with cat-like reflexes. The problem was that I didn’t have any sort of action plan. It’s kind of like what my cats do at home when they run around the coffee table for no apparent reason with crazed looks in their eyes, chasing an imaginary bug. Not good. Especially when done by people.
The lesson I learned today is that I will never be able to change my natural tendency to go into action during emergencies. But, now that I recognize my natural bent, I will be able to better control what I do in the future. Like reminding myself to stay calm. Like figuring out a good plan. Like acting with purpose. Like not turning into a crazed Catwoman.
How to you react in emergencies? Do you stay calm or freak out?