Logically, people would assume that “fight vs. flight” is easy to understand. “Fight” means a confrontation, while “flight” means avoidance. I’ve been reading and thinking tonight, and I don’t think that’s true.

I’ve been told before that I’m the kind of person who lights up a room. People want to be around me. I’ve been wondering what it is about me that inspires that in people. Maybe it’s as simple as my smile. Maybe it’s because I know when to talk, and when to listen. Maybe it’s because I know how to watch people and know what they are feeling. Maybe it’s because they see me as a strong person, and they want a bit of that strength.

But I know that I’m not always strong. I’m human, like anyone else. I can bear a burden heavier than most, and I usually play the game of self-sacrifice, putting the needs of others before my own. But even I know my limits, and I know how to set up boundaries to keep people from taking too much.

Fight vs. Flight.

I prefer to avoid confrontation, but I will fight when needed. When that time comes, I am a force to be reckoned with. Still, avoiding confrontation has never felt like it was the same as running away. So, in the literal sense, if someone decided to pick a fight with you, got up in your face, and you turned and ran, that would definitely be flight. That’s not what I do. If someone, metaphorically, got up in my face, I would stand and face them, waiting for the first blow so I could launch my attack. Actually, that’s what I would do if that literally happened to me too. Back to metaphors… If I saw a situation that had the potential to become a confrontation, and took measures to avoid such a situation, is that the same as running away? I think not. In fact, I think it’s just another way to fight. You are taking active steps to avoid a negative situation. You are preparing yourself for any number of scenarios, and taking the best route possible.

I am a fighter. I have been to the brink of death and back, sometimes without a single helping hand. Taking a helping hand is not the same as being weak. Asking for a helping hand means you know your limits, and you know what you need, and when to ask for it. Letting someone else share your burdens does not mean you are running away. Not asking for help doesn’t mean you are fighting.

Oh, and this little article, and the article it’s based on, helped to shape my thoughts:
http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com/the-iron-mind/

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