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Word Count: 2,251
There are definite stages that people go through when coping with difficult and challenging experiences in their lives This is a process through which the human brain enables us to adjust to situations that might otherwise be too traumatizing The use of this complex mechanism for coping was first observed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross in her work with terminally ill patients Given time to transition through all of the stages the pattern was clear the patients went from a stage of denial anger bargaining depression and finally to the stage of acceptance These progressive stages are not limited however to helping us cope with the realization of our impending deaths We use them to deal with any information or situation that would otherwise be difficult to accept Did you ever wonder why teenagers engage in high risk activities and believe they are invincible and invulnerable Its because they live in the denial stage What about people who purchase products they think will make them look younger or more virile or that they believe will buy them friends Its because they are living in the bargaining phase of their lives You get the idea After terminally ill patients the group most likely to exhibit the five stages of coping are mediocre golfers Of the worlds 50 million golfers about 49 million are mediocre golfers The remaining million consist of approximately 15 good golfers and a lot of really terrible golfers The similarities between terminally ill patients and mediocre golfers go well beyond their use of coping mechanisms For instance both groups share an impending sense of doom especially true for mediocre golfers right before they hit the ball and both groups know their plight will not improve unless a miracle occurs In order to understand and perhaps assist the mediocre golfer as he moves through the process it is important to be able to recognize and distinguish
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