Leading Authority in Treatment of Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

Adapt to Unexpected Situations

How to Change and Adapt to Unexpected Situations

Dr. David Hawkins address the challenge that has faced us all during the Covid-19 crisis: learning to change and adapt to unexpected situations and environments. This lesson can be applied in our personal lives as well as our marriages.

How to Change and Adapt to Unexpected Situations

In the Face of Adversity, Resilience is Key

If the global pandemic, COVID-19, has taught us anything, it’s that we need to become more adaptable and resilient. Dr. David Hawkins, the director of the Marriage Recovery Center, emphasizes the importance of learning to embrace change and relinquish the illusion of control over our lives.

The past few years have forced us to confront our vulnerabilities, our resistance to change, and our deep-seated desire for stability. In this article, we will explore how to adapt to unexpected situations, especially in the context of the pandemic, and emerge from such challenges with increased resilience and a newfound ability to go with the flow.

The Illusion of Control

One of the most profound lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that the illusion of control is just that—an illusion. We have a tendency to cling to routines, patterns, and the belief that we can dictate the course of our lives. However, as we’ve seen, life can throw us curveballs that disrupt even the most meticulously planned lives.

In the words of Dr. Hawkins, “We need to learn about this illusion of control.” Accepting that not everything can be controlled or predicted is the first step in adapting to unexpected situations. This realization serves as a foundation for developing resilience and learning how to thrive in the face of uncertainty.

The Fear of Change

The human psyche has a propensity to resist change. This fear of change often stems from our desire for stability and predictability. The routines we establish and the patterns we adopt are comfortable, familiar, and soothing.

However, as Dr. Hawkins points out, “Life is not going to stay the same.” Change is an inevitable part of life, and the sooner we come to terms with this reality, the better prepared we’ll be for the challenges that lie ahead.

The Mirror of Self-Discovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a mirror, reflecting our true selves. It has forced us to confront aspects of our personalities and relationships that might have remained hidden in the absence of such a crisis.

1. Self-Reflecting on Emotions

For many, the pandemic has brought out emotions that they never anticipated. Have you found yourself more irritable, angrier, or more anxious than you thought you were? The uncertainty and disruption that COVID-19 brought created a fertile ground for these emotions to surface. However, understanding and accepting these emotions is a crucial step towards adapting to unexpected situations.

2. Evaluating Resilience

On the flip side, some individuals discovered newfound levels of resiliency. After the initial shock and upheaval, many people found themselves coping better than expected. The routines and patterns that were previously seen as essential were no longer as crucial. The pandemic revealed that some have the ability to embrace change more effectively than they realized.

Opportunities for Change

Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic are opportunities for growth and transformation. They allow us to scrutinize our lives and relationships and identify areas that need to change. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that our lives are not as static as we might have believed.

1. Reevaluating Priorities

One of the lessons learned is the need to reassess our priorities. The things we once considered indispensable may not be as critical as we thought. This period of uncertainty has encouraged many to prioritize their health, relationships, and mental well-being over material possessions or career ambitions.

2. Learning Adaptability

To adapt effectively to unexpected situations, we must learn how to change. It’s about embracing change and going with the flow more effectively, as Dr. Hawkins emphasizes. This entails developing the ability to adjust and pivot in response to unforeseen challenges. Learning to adapt can enhance our overall resilience and capacity to face the uncertainties of life.

Practical Strategies for Adaptation

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine can help you become more attuned to your emotions and better equipped to handle unexpected situations.
  2. Flexible Planning: Instead of rigidly adhering to routines, create flexible schedules that allow for change. Be prepared to adapt when circumstances demand it.
  3. Seek Support: It’s essential to lean on your support network during challenging times. Friends, family, or support groups can provide valuable emotional support and advice.
  4. Develop Problem-Solving Skills: Enhance your problem-solving abilities, as they are invaluable when dealing with unexpected situations. Being able to think on your feet and find solutions is a crucial skill in times of crisis.
  5. Embrace Change: Rather than resisting change, try to welcome it as an opportunity for growth and learning. Change can lead to new experiences and perspectives.
  6. Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself. Understand that it’s natural to feel discomfort and resistance to change. Self-compassion can help you navigate these emotions with more ease.


The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call, teaching us that we must adapt to unexpected situations in a rapidly changing world. The illusion of control can no longer be our guiding principle. We need to learn to let go of the patterns and routines we cling to and accept that life is ever-evolving.

The mirror of self-discovery has revealed our vulnerabilities and strengths. It’s up to us to harness this newfound knowledge and use it as a catalyst for growth and transformation. Embracing change, developing resilience, and learning to go with the flow are essential skills that can help us thrive in the face of unexpected situations. As we move forward, let us remember that adaptability is not a sign of weakness, but a testament to our strength and ability to conquer the challenges that life throws our way.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: The Complexity of Narcissism Explained!

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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