Responding to Stress
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On her first day on assignment in a foreign country, Mary decided to bring pastries into the office. She entered a bakery on her route and busy clerk turned to her for her order. Faced with having to order in a foreign language for the first time, Mary froze. Unable to speak a word, she simply pointed at the delicacies she wanted, answered questions with a nod or shake of the head, and paid for them in silence. Having to choose between two languages had silenced her entirely.
His manager sat next to George as George worked on his computer to finish the requested diagram of the company’s new product. “Highlight that piece,” the manager said, moving closer and pointing to the screen. “Make those blue lines darker and change the labeling font, then move the…” With each word, George became more tense; his hands jittered; his breath quickened; and he could feel heat rising throughout his body. He was being micromanaged into a stress attack.
TEND AND BEFRIEND:
Carin returned to work three weeks after her husband’s unexpected death at 36. She thought she was doing well but every so often tears would start flowing for no reason. She would retreat to the ladies’ room and often one of her female co-workers would offer sympathy. One of them gave her the phone number of a group dedicated to surviving spouses. There, Carin found reassurance that her reaction was normal and that she was doing the best anyone could expect.