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Whether one views particular change as a loss or an opportunity depends on a number of factors. Some of those factors are external to a person and others depend on how the change is perceived. When there are many changes happening at once, or the changes are coming at a very fast pace, or there are a number of major changes occurring simultaneously, there is a greater chance that a person will experience that change as a loss. The effect is additive. If any combination of these factors occurs at the same time, it is more likely that a person will experience the change as loss.
How one personally views a specific change has a great impact on how one will respond to the change. The greater the meaning a person places upon a change, the greater will be the sense of loss. Two people can experience the same set of circumstances, but view them differently.
Let's say that there are two dairy farmers who get hurt and can no longer milk. Both have a son or daughter interested in continuing in the business. Both view their injury and its impact on their business as a loss. Both deny the impact of their injury at first because they are fearful about what it means and confused about how to proceed. Then both become angry and irritable about their situation. These are normal stages of grief over things that we perceive as losses. Both experience the "blues" after awhile, but here is where they begin to differ.
One of the farmers views the injury as a loss of a way of life, becomes quite depressed, and can't seem to move on. The other feels pretty low for a while, but gets some help to talk about and find meaning in the situation. He begins to explore options and to see the situation as an opportunity to get his child more involved in the business at an earlier stage in life. He also begins to concentrate on diversifying the operation by creating a value-added product in which he can be involved despite his injury.
How a person views a change influences how they communicate, make decisions, and solve problems as they deal with change. It also determines how quickly they progress through a normal series of adjustments like those just described.
How much control one has had over the change can affect how one responds to it. Whether a person has had involvement in making the change also contributes to how the change is experienced. A very crucial factor in how one interacts with a change is how one views the change. The more they value what is changing, the greater the sense of loss they will experience.
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