I’m a different person than I was last year; hell, I’m a different person than I was last week, because I’m always using my free will to grow and evolve. I also am deeply informed by my personal experiences, as is everyone else. Two people of the same gender, age, socio-economic class and from the same city or the same neighborhood may well react differently to the same stimuli simply because they interpret it through the lens of their own particular set of experiences. Factor in other demographic disparities and you get a great big colorful world full of all different kinds of people who see and do things differently from each other.

The fact that many people who have never been victims of crime cannot fathom why someone didn’t behave differently when they were under attack is a case in point. And not even all crime victims behave the same way under the same circumstances. Some flee or fight, but some freeze or fawn (try to appease their attacker). I’m going to guess that a lot of that has to do with basic personality (which is likely a blend of nature and nurture) but also how their life experiences have helped form who they are in a stressful situation.

I was commenting the other day about how good I am in a crisis (and how unfortunate it is that I’ve been in enough of them to know that for sure about myself). I am able to think clearly under duress and take purposeful steps to address whatever it is that’s going on in the moment. But I know plenty of people who panic or shut down under those same conditions. In any case, it’s certainly an interesting question you’ve posed.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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