In a 2002 study, Barbara Fredrickson and Thomas Joiner identified six different cognitive ‘coping styles’ which subjects had used to deal positively with difficult situations or events :
- Resignation (acceptance)
- Seeking advice
- Positive reframing
- Avoidance (not ignoring, but avoiding triggers)
- Cognitive Analysis (objective re-evaluation)
and when I look back at the negative events and situations I think I have handled most positively in the past, I can identify at least one one of those styles at work.
Which leads to an interesting insight - when we experience a negative situation that we’re NOT handling well, reminding ourselves of what worked in the past (or what might work this time) might just be the way to improve how we’re dealing with the present…