The 5 Stages of Grief – Bargaining
When dealing with a loss whether it was property damage from the Texas storm, a loved one, going separate ways after a longtime friend, or any other challenge life throws our way, goal number one is to minimize the pain that comes from that loss. Dealing with a loss can cause us to look for alternative solutions to cope and avoid the pain. Bargaining is typically calling on a higher power, or calling upon something bigger that can change the outcome of the perceived loss. Listening to our gut, a realization sets in that more than likely there is nothing that will change the outcome for the better. That small, still voice in our head reminds us of the reality.
That feeling of not being able to influence the outcome to our benefit leads to bargaining, and bargaining gives a sense of control over the situation. Bargaining turns us looking inward at our own personal contribution to the situation and/or regrets. We start looking at the roadmap of the relationship with someone or the situation being faced with that is a challenge. Questions like the following may begin to form in your head.
Why did I lose touch with this individual over the years?
Why was I not prepared like I should have been to protect my property and family from a situation?
Haven’t you heard or personally experienced bargaining like “God if only XXXXXX, I will turn my life around.”
In this stage, we will recall situations in which we’ve maybe not been the nicest person, or we’ve taken an action that led to hurting someone else; even if it was completely unintentional. We wish we had that magic time machine to go back and create a better outcome. We begin to form absurd assumptions that if something happened differently in the past, we would not be experiencing the pain of today.
Tomorrow and Friday, we will wrap up with a note on Depression and finally Acceptance. If you’re finding yourself dealing with any of these stages, know you’re not alone, and be okay with asking for professional help.
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