Crisis point: When it is just too much

Sadly, personal crises are all too common for unemployed people. There are a lot of possible causes, sometimes very basic things.

These can be simple, or very complex, but they all have one thing in common. They represent an accumulation of emotional strain.

Daily battles are pretty normal. Most people will fight on regardless, which is the obvious, practical approach to the problems.

Unfortunately it's not necessarily the right way to handle the emotional strain. Over time, the constant stress can cause medical problems. That makes the problems seem worse, and the difficulties feel greater. There is a point when you're just taking on too much at once, too often.

Crisis point is when nothing is manageable. Everything is a problem, the possible risks are huge, and other problems are piling up. The stress is enormous, quite unbelievable unless you've actually experienced it yourself.

Don't try to handle these situations on your own.

Get advice, because guessing can make things a lot worse.

You will need help, and preferably plenty of it, to reduce the load to something manageable.

Even if it goes against the grain to ask for help, a third party can give another opinion, or make suggestions you may not have considered. Some people will actively help, and save you not only time, but frustration, and in some cases a lot of effort.

Crises aren't funny. There are always serious issues, and always things that must be done.

Here's a few suggestions:

  • Identify the important things.
  • Defer, delay, or put off anything minor, if you possibly can. (That is usually possible. Things like bills usually have a deferred payment arrangement, etc.)
  • Go to work on the important things immediately, getting help where you can, and trying to prevent any deterioration in the situation.
  • Be realistic about what's possible. If it's impossible, get help, and avoid getting into any situation where you're expected to do the impossible.
  • Figure out how to handle the worst case scenario, so you don't get taken by surprise by it. Be prepared to deal with it.
  • Sometimes you can play for time, get extensions, etc, and dilute the problem down to something you can handle over a period of months, instead of days or weeks. (This is also usually safer than any unrealistic short term solution which can't work because something else comes up.)

As you can see, the idea is to create a workable method of managing crises. It also greatly reduces the emotional and physical strains of any serious problem. You get time to think, to plan, and to get some assistance.

How crises happen

Many major crises are quite avoidable, and prevention really is much better than the sort of horrors involved in dealing with real emergencies.

Believe it or not, you actually need a personal policy to handle crises before they happen.

The logic here is pretty straightforward. It's situation management, it's just done in advance of the possible problems, not after the train wreck.

You can see some problems coming, but you can also find them popping up at you, too. These are usually things which use up your time and space, and often your money, to handle them. They can become very serious crises.

They often start off harmlessly enough, maybe something like a new person in your daily life, or some sort of situation where you have to go out of your way and spend time trying to make something work.

The new person turns out to have brought a whole new set of problems with them, and made them yours. The thing you're trying to make work doesn't work, and is consuming a lot of effort, and causing aggravation.

You notice a pattern in these situations?

Personal commitment is the real problem. You've attached yourself to these dead weights.

People can be problems

If the person is a loved one, well, fair enough. Your commitment is important and genuine, far more important than any selfish interests.

If the person is just another infliction on your time and your life, what needs to be said? You have your own, equally important issues, and giving people problems isn't helping them.

If you can help, and want to help, and you're definitely not killing yourself in the process, good, do it. It's a positive experience, you'll enjoy helping.

Social parasites

Don't become the host to a parasite. Many people are in the habit of passing on their problems to others, when they can deal with them themselves easily enough. Some people really make a very good living doing that. That leaves a real taste in the mouth, and if you're a normal, independent minded person, you'll know why.

You will also know that if you ask for help, it's because you need it. That's a legitimate situation, with real cause. You might even be calling in a few favors from people you've helped.

Some social groups are a problem, too.

If you're young, and you don't know to avoid junkies, criminals, chronic drinkers and other joys of the streets, you're potentially asking for trouble, and that's exactly what you'll get.

Your money becomes theirs. Your risks are on their behalf. They can, and will, eat your food, use all your resources, and leave you with the bills.

They can also get you in serious criminal trouble, with ease. You may find a Rolls Royce parked in the garage, or a lot of cash in a tin somewhere.

That's trouble you don't need.

If you're poor and unemployed, trust is a luxury. Anyone who's costing you something is a potential problem. This is a whole set of problems that can ring you up and give you more grief than most diseases.

Learn to avoid these people.

You'll have fewer crises, smaller bills, and much less stress.

Over commitment of time money and effort

It often happens that unemployed people get involved in things which might solve their problems and just make them worse.

This becomes a problem by definition, because it's done at the expense of everything else. Be Your Own Boss schemes are the classic case, where you're committed to massive use of time and effort on things that just don't work.


Not wanting to preach, but recreational habits can be trouble, too. If you're a regular socializer, you'll know what that can do to your cash supply.

The risk is that you won't really be able to manage the spontaneous spending of a night out and balance your long suffering budget. The balance won't work out.

The likely result of this is borrowing, and with borrowing comes the chance of some real crises, the kind that can wreck your life.

Owing anyone money is potentially deadly. Debt is a noose, if you're on a low or fixed income. Debts also have to be paid, unless you're hoping to get away with moving to another planet.

Credit cards, personal loans, and so-called private loans are all potential risks. They can put you out on the street.

Get a debit card, and stay out of debt, if humanly possible. If you have no choice, and must borrow, borrow from places like banks, not dubious looking shopfronts run by people you've never heard of before. Private loans can charge murderous rates, and you'd be safer doing almost anything else.

Borrowing from friends can be a terrible risk, as well as a problem. Friends, naturally, expect to be paid back, and so they should. If you can't, for a real reason, they might understand. They might not, too, and you could lose a friend and even gain a lawsuit, in some cases.

You see why we're saying steer clear of as many problems as you can, and get help, rather than drowning in a tsunami of crises.

If you're unemployed, you've already got one more problem than you need.

Don't add to it.

Stay cool, stay safe, and stay cautious, and you're doing what you need to do.