How to deal with refugees
Stuffy bus effect
Today I want to talk about psychology. Some human behavior is now difficult to understand without knowing the basics of psychology, and as a result, it could be completely misinterpreted.

Already yesterday I received a message from a friend that on some forums there are accusations from people: they took, sheltered, and fed refugees, but in return, Ukrainians show dissatisfaction with some insignificant things such as food or even the color of the curtains. And of course, this information is picked up by those who benefit from the "dehumanization of the enemy" and is inflated to slogans that I don't even want to write here.
"I read comments in a group for helping refugees, and there were people who went nuts from the impudence of those who fled, that they were not happy with the conditions where they were sheltered. They are provided with everything to help, but the curtains are not nice for them and the room is small and other dissatisfaction, instead of thanks."
I'll tell you how it works.

The human psyche is built on affective blocks - small bricks formed in childhood. Each block consists of three parts: discomfort - satisfaction - comfort. That is, the child is hungry - eats - full and satisfied. In infancy, there are only a few basic discomforts: hunger, cold, wet diapers. As the psyche develops, they multiply and become more complex, but the principle remains the same: we have discomfort, some kind of need. We do something, the need is satisfied, we feel comfort and peace. Then a new need appears.

The quality of affective blocks affects how much discomfort and how long we can endure as adults. If in childhood we were fed, swaddled, and loved on time, then the basic setting of the psyche is "after a discomfort, there will be a comfort". It is a healthy optimism that helps to endure troubles. To endure, in this case, is not to fall into anxiety, depression, psychosis, or hysteria. Remain a reasonable adequate person.

And here is the trick that is common to all people: a prolonged phase of discomfort kills comfort. That is, if you felt bad for so long and so hard that you don't have a single affective block that can withstand it, then even when the physical source of discomfort is eliminated (successful satisfaction phase), the comfort phase does not come - you still feel bad.
A simple example that anyone can try on. Imagine that on a hot day you are riding in a crowded bus. It's hard to breathe, and you are squeezed by the sweaty bodies of other people. Horrible. If you have to ride for three stops, you get off the bus with a sense of relief - what a thrill to take a deep breath! But if you ride this bus for three hours, then even if your stop is in the most beautiful place on the Earth, you will not be impressed by either freshness or beauty - you will feel chewed up and hate the whole world.

After receiving a message from a friend, not for a single second I thought that something was wrong with these people. I went through a similar story with "curtains" three weeks ago. I grew up in the city and got used to the conforming level of comfort. However, I endure inconvenience quite easily - all sorts of camping in the wild where you have to go to the toilet in the bushes and not take a shower for a few days. But even my wonderfully working affective blocks were not able to manage two months of living in a car, without a normal shower and toilet, in the middle of sandstorms at the most unfriendly atmosphere of the desert. And when we finally arrived in a nice village and rented the best accommodation possible here, suitable for me in all respects of my usual psychological state, I was not satisfied. I was disappointed with EVERYTHING.

Fortunately, my wise husband insisted that we stay, and not continue to look for something "better".

- Ira, it's not about the place, but about you. You just feel bad right now because of the prolonged stress. It will pass, just wait.

The next morning I woke up still feeling unhappy. But I remembered about affective blocks. Added A to B. I accepted my state, allowed myself to feel bad, even though everything was fine, gave myself time to recover. It took me three days for my psyche to return to normal, and everything fell into place. Finally, I really liked everything and was happy again. The conditions have not changed, my state has changed and, as a result, my perception has changed.
I am lucky that I know these mechanisms, I can relate them to my condition and go through this unpleasant period without making a tragedy out of it.

Now imagine the colossal, traumatic stress people go through when they are forced to flee a war-torn home. Leave all their lives behind and run into the unknown. It is fear, pain, horror. It is incomparable to anything that has happened in the lives of most of us. And you need to be aware of this.

To help is not just to give shelter and food. It is also to be ready not to receive gratitude immediately. Because a person whose psyche has been torn down by trauma needs time to recover. Time and psychological help. I know that in many countries the refugee assistance program includes social and psychological assistance and work with specialists. But even ordinary people who open doors in the desire to help need to know these basics of how the psyche works. You are doing a great deed. May this give you strength. Be psychologically stable yourself, then you can really help, perhaps save someone's life. Not only in physical terms. Give acceptance, give hope and restore faith in humanity.

To those who cling to the "inappropriate" actions of people under the influence of unbearable stress, I want to say - stop. Be compassionate. Some people have a more stable mentality, some less. Someone feels bad, and the brain clings to the curtains. In another, the response to stress turns on aggression. Yes, they can puncture the tires of a Russian truck or paint a monument to Soviet soldiers blue and yellow. I'm not saying it's right. But this is not an indication of whether a person is good or bad. This is a man in a state of terrible passion.
"So these are refugees. Maybe not all of them but the majority"

Example of blaming all the refugees based on the action of a small group. Don't do so.
And even more, it cannot be a characteristic of a large group of people. There are no "all refugees". There are individual people. Be vigilant when someone tries to present others in a bad light, especially endowing the story with strong emotional words, while generalizing people into one faceless mass - this is not news, this is propaganda.
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