Have you heard of the boiled frog syndrome? Everyone at some point in their life finds themselves in a situation where they have to adapt to change. Maybe even this happens to us all the time.
However, there are cases in which we supposedly adapt, start living by someone else's rules, refuse to fight for our dreams, and thus, without realizing it, we find ourselves in a pit. What do you do after you hit rock bottom? Do you have enough energy to get out of there? Yes, these situations drain us emotionally and then you can say we suffer from the boiling frog syndrome.
According to Olivier Clerc, who is the author of the book Invaluable Lessons from a Frog: Seven Life-Enhancing Metaphors, when we put a frog in a pot of cold water and start slowly heating it, the frog will gradually get used to the temperature of the water.
Just as the water reaches its boiling point, the frog can no longer regulate its temperature and starts trying to jump out of the pot. But unfortunately the frog is no longer strong enough to escape because it has lost much of its energy to adjust to the temperature of the water. As a result, the frog dies from boiling without any chance to jump and save itself.
Here the big question that is important to ask ourselves is what exactly killed the frog in the pot? The boiling water or its inability to decide when to jump out?
Even as the water slowly heated up and reached some initial boiling stage, the frog was able to escape without hesitation. However, while she has adapted to the temperature of the water, she has not considered when it is safe for her to jump out.
With this metaphor, we could indicate a number of life situations that we have passed through, in which we or our loved ones, acquaintances find ourselves. Of course, it is important to be able to adapt to the situations and relationships we encounter, but up to a certain point.
The most important thing is to learn to decide when to move on and when it's time to jump and get out of this situation. The problem is that we humans consciously or unconsciously adapt to harmful situations by not leaving our comfort zone. This applies to anything - a job we don't like, a relationship we're unhappy in, harmful relationships with relatives, harmful habits, etc.
We avoid responsibility for ourselves and blame life, fate, third parties for the uncomfortable life situation we find ourselves in.
What could be the consequences for us if we continue to suffer from the boiled frog syndrome?
Our wants, needs and emotions become invisible to us and to others. This behavior of passivity and submission that is often confused with other he althy behaviors such as empathy, love, acceptance or inner peace. On the other hand, fear, low self-esteem, insecurity and resignation are attitudes that reduce our ability to respond.They gradually take control of our lives and metaphorically boil us like the frog.
How can we avoid the boiled frog syndrome?
The first and most important thing is to practice love and care for ourselves, to stand up for our rights. It sounds complicated, but we learn all this with time.
To set personal boundaries where we can say "no", "enough", "I don't want", "I want" and that these boundaries apply to every single person in our lives. If we allow someone to cross them constantly, we put ourselves in the situation of the boiled frog.
Accepting reality but not creating expectations or assuming we can change people because we really can't.
Learning to distinguish when it is possible to be flexible to circumstances and when not.
If we feel so stuck that we cannot help ourselves, we can always ask a specialist with whom we can share our worries and desires.