The 5 Types of People You Might See During a Global Crisis

Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

Are you watching the world go into a meltdown? Pandemics, climate, pollution, inequality, food security? Enough to make anyone shift their position, question their paradigm or lose their gob. Are thoughts of who to believe, how to behave and when to make ‘the move’ plaguing your mind? Whether you believe in the media, Hopi prophesy or the bible, the tabloids or your app notifications, you probably fit into one of the growing and increasingly defining categories of a person type emerging from this global emergency.

Our minds thrive on patterns. Observing something one day and experiencing the same thing over again gives a sense of security. We can predict with some certainty, our day, every day. But this confidence would be false. It’s like the slow boil of climate change — we are comfortable with minor inconveniences. But when something comes hard and fast, we get into a flight or fight response. These days are no longer routine and are contingent on people in power, the economy and the environment all cooperating while we ensure Netflix remains on. Basically, we control nothing so we better get used to it. The reality is that human systems are unstable unlike nature which is a true system. Nature has buffering and feedback mechanisms that kick in if things get out of balance. Too many deer eating plants? No problem, more wolves to feast.

Our minds thrive on patterns. Observing something one day and experiencing the same thing over again gives a sense of security.

When the balance is upset, nature will self-correct over time or find a new homeostasis (a fancy word for another place to rest). With our patterns disrupted, our sense of self feels threatened and we too seek re-balance. In times of crisis, we express shades of our personality that we would otherwise bury. Combine this with low self-awareness and voila! Instant projection of our shadow side onto people who trigger us and we do it without knowing.

Perhaps we should raise our awareness to be conscious of trends that would sustain us. Learning trends within nature would give us a chance at a sustainable future rather than trends in the stock market. Some have turned to nature, others have turned away and place hope in technology. Some choose big government and others think government is burdensome. Polarization in values, politics and outlook is defining who we are and which groups we identify with.

Another interesting trend is this rising in a sort of waking consciousness. Perhaps it is a spiritual movement as it smacks of hippie culture and yoga studios. But it is also a growing awareness of our connectedness to each other and the planet in a very practical sense. People are re-examining their lives in very profound ways and this may lead to some good things for all of us. We either wake up by seeking out our purpose and making moves or a good crisis to shake things up when we are asleep at the wheel.

As humans do, we express various facets of our personalities in times of crisis. Some people panic, others freeze, some lead and contribute while others take advantage and seek to reinforce their own position. You don’t have to go further than your Facebook feed or twitter comments to see the following types pop into being. Here they are:

The Prepper

When you are facing the end of the world, get yourself a prepper. This is usually people who like to be ‘prepared’ for when SHTF. Preppers range from the practical keeping food and candles stored to having a world war 3 bunker with hazmat suits. This is generally an older crowd and some may have developed a bit of paranoia over time. However, I would rather be friends with one than not in uncertain times. Their observations are not without merit. Climate change, food security, economic meltdown, chemical and radiation spills, solar flares, nuclear war, asteroids, and yes, pandemics are all topics of conversation as well as how to barricade yourself in the wilds. Camping with these guys can be a bit unfun but they will get a fire started with their teeth and can teach you how to open a can of beans using your arse.

The Worrier

Look at their nails. Are they half-chewed? These people don’t need to be thinking of what might happen next month — in fact, take the coffee away from them. The nation is already under enough stress. These people are ultra-sensitive yet empathic. Worriers are concerned and maybe we are not enough. This anxiety ridden person has to keep their lid on. Public freak outs, mental health issues and depression can be a result of too much isolation or not having personal needs met. Sometimes attention seeking, they require confirmation of every little detail. A little love with this person will go a long way. Maybe we have something to learn about giving more of ourselves and easing times like this for each other.

The Philosopher

This person relates everything to human nature. We get what we deserve and we should be the better for it. Great at parties but a tad pretentious and sometimes full of shit. I’ve been caught here myself trying to discuss post-modern theories to only find myself wearing the requisite black turtleneck in cafes reading Foucault. This is where the billionaires fit — there are no worries in their hacienda bunker with 300 years worth of Grey Goose vodka — they can apply their sophistry from the hills. Academics and population theorists fit here too. Only in a debate about philosophy can a pandemic be a good thing. Arguments and discussions range from over-population and pollution, to trans-humanism. Oh, and by the way, these people know how to argue properly, listen, talk, listen and agree or disagree and go away. No need to point, yell and throw things — logic is where it’s at Spock. Stay calm and carry on.

The Conspiracy Theorist

This guy has made the biggest comeback in people type history. With enough fodder to almost justify wearing a tin foil hat, he is all over any censorship, government secrets, UFOs, why Julian Assange is still in jail, big money off shore, shadow governments, 5G radiation and micro-chips, family blood lines, ancient and family history (a la Rockefellers and Rothchilds) and the list goes on. There are obscure web sites and right-wing news outlets. Fake news and left-wing brochures. Somewhere in the middle of all this is the critical thinking skeptic. These types are not one to believe the first thing a pill advertisement or government will tell you. I have had a full range of conspiracy discussions from the absurd to exceptionally convincing — enough to get me to have a second look at my own beliefs. Recently, the U.S. navy released a video showing a chase of unidentified objects — real UFOs. This hardly made a stir as I think (and what the conspiracy theorists say is ‘predictive programming’) the media has already habituated us to what ever invasion or welcome party is planned. Always entertaining, not always correct but not always wrong either.

The Monk

This dude is blissfully watching the fireworks and acknowledging the world unfold as it is supposed to. Presence is the key. Whether you are into Eckhart Tolle or Abraham Hicks, this sort of free flowing human is just the thing you need to relax in a tough time. Light up some herb and do some deep breathing. Or stay pure and go on a retreat. Find yourself and walk the Camino. Maybe hit the yoga studio and bliss out on a moksha shake. We need to get the worrier and the monk together. Related to the Philosopher, the Monk quietly makes his way through life, watching rather than engaging. Not being involved is pretty Zen. However, pacifism only works if we all a part of it. Easily likable, harmless and a bit boring. I do believe it is not in our best interest to provoke this guy as the force might be strong with this one.

The truth is we all are a little bit of each of the above.

The skeptics are a necessary part of critically thinking about this mess we have gotten ourselves into. The monks and worriers can balance out our need to be concerned for others and know when to disengage from the noise. As we find presence, it may be wise to prepare ourselves for emergencies, knowing how our fellow humans behave, as we make mistakes. We also need to be OK with talking about our mistakes, where we made them and how not to repeat them in the future lest we end up as the last type, extinct.




Educator | Author “The Experience — A Guide to the Connection of a Lifetime’ | Chris holds a Masters in Urban Planning and a Masters in Adult Education.

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Christopher Caldwell

Christopher Caldwell

Educator | Author “The Experience — A Guide to the Connection of a Lifetime’ | Chris holds a Masters in Urban Planning and a Masters in Adult Education.

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