by Alla Poédie, Executive Coach and Consultant
"Only the baby in a wet diaper likes change," says a proverb.
Most of us do not like change, because the new reality worries us. To pass from the initial refusal to acceptance is the characteristic of human nature. This mechanism is known as the 5 stages of reaction to change, studied by the psychologist Élisabeth Kübler-Ross. She identified the emotional response to the 5 key stages of change:
At the initial stage of denial, people are generally afraid that the changes will only be negative: "It may be necessary for the country, for others, but I don't need it!" "," This is not going to happen to me, so I'm not concerned. "
Denial manifests itself in the fact that people do not do what is recommended to them. Thus, they do not respect confinement, and therefore, do not maintain protective distances, do not wear masks, and go shopping daily ...
At this point, it is important to understand that anger is not caused by the changes themselves, but by the losses they cause: "It's unfair!" No! I can't accept it! I could not live if I can no longer… ”I let you finish the sentence…
At the behavioral level, this manifests itself in the multiplication of complaints, anger, accusations, criticism towards others and those who govern, etc.
In fact, the anger expressed openly indicates the beginning of people's involvement, and that's a pretty good sign! It is recommended to accept these own emotions, to let them express themselves ... but without damaging others!
We try to postpone the inevitable, to “reach an agreement” with the situation or ourselves to delay the changes or to find a way out of this situation:
"Ok, I accept, but ... if they let me do my shopping, jogging, going to the countryside, seeing my friends etc ...
Bargaining is a sign that people are starting to look to the future. They have not yet given up their fears, but are already looking for new operational possibilities.
4. Humility (bending to the inevitable)
Faced with the reality of the situation and the impossibility of "negotiating" the postponement of change, people may fall into a state of apathy; too much uncertainty about the future will cause a lack of energy: "Why try? It won't lead to any good anyway… ”
If you have a drop in mood, a systematically negative vision of the situation, apathy "nothing to wax", refuse to communicate, fewer outside contacts, mop up ... it is that you are in this phase.
And if the person stays too long in this situation, he risks developing depression in the medical sense of the term…
People understand that all resistance is useless and begin to project the situation: "Okay, it's time to organize", "How will I do when my restaurant business reopens?" "Would I want to continue my life with this person?" Acceptance comes after the first period "imposed by the new life" and the first short-term results.
You can see the manifestations of this stage when you plan for the future, are ready to learn new things, invest in the success of change ... You then start to feel involved and engage others.
Of course, not everyone goes through all of the stages. Worse, not everyone reaches the acceptance stage. Each course is very personal.
Stop on your situation, and answer honestly the question "at what stage am I at?" "
Know that to keep your sanity and continue to live at your best, it is better to go quickly through all the stages and arrive at position 5 ("I adapt to my new situation") and to project yourself into the 'to come up.