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Where do you Freeze?

We have all heard “fight or flight” and understand that one or the other is a reflex a11-ice-bushction to certain situations. I have witnessed when freezing is a third option and that may serve the most. I live in black bear country and have been taught that if I encounter one, it is best to freeze and after a moment, slowly, very slowly, back away without making eye contact. This would show the bear I meant no harm and it might just keep me safe.  I was an elementary school principal for 10 years and some days I was confronted by an angry or upset child or adult. Over the years, I found that it often served to “freeze” and hear them out, a least a bit, before confronting the behavior. This practice often dissipated the anger, the person felt heard, and then we could have a meaningful conversation. I call this responding versus reacting. What I learned is that I cannot respond unless I first freeze and listen. When I react I may over react and make the situation worse. (Of course, I’m not speaking of physical violence with these suggestions!)

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