We all have encountered, or even are ourselves, low copers, people who do not deal well with the slightest adversity. Such people figuratively cannot find their way out of a cardboard box. They whine loudly over having a hang nail. With actual and substantial adversity such as a job loss, divorce, or illness of a family member, they completely fall apart and abdicate dealing with any issue before them. They are loud complainers but take no steps to remedy their situation. They do not set an agenda for seeking a new job. They do not make plans for finding a new place to live after divorce. And, they do not plan how to care for an ill family member. I call such people “Low Copers” as they believe their coping is nil.

So if Low Copers do not cope, plan, strategize or solve their issues what happens? If left on their own they would eventually solve their problems, get out of their fixes, make future plans and move on. They would feel better about themselves because, instead of their usual inertia, they actually did something for themselves that was beneficial and led to greater self-esteem. But, the problem is that they are never left on their own. Someone in their environment truly believes they are deficient in knowing how to cope. This person (or persons) steps in and solves the problem for them, taking over the Low Coper’s problem solving and continuing to make them feel deficient in coping with life’s real concerns.

Are you a Low Coper? Have you met one? Do you always try to do it for them? Do you always want someone to do it for you?

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