When massive change happens people go through a process that slowly helps them adapt to the change. Using the outcome of the recent elections – where the ruling coalition was whitewashed, we will be able to see the process unfold. The process is called SARAH an acronym for Shock, Anger, Resentment, Acceptance then Hope.
I think we can all relate to the Shock phase as the election results were being reported. In this Shock phase people are too stunned to do anything and the word you will hear are “I am stunned,” “I don’t believe it,” “Unbelievable,” “This cannot be happening”…….
From Shock we then move into Anger. Here people stat venting out and lashing out. Anger can be directed externally at others or internally to one’s self. “How could they have done this,” “Ungrateful people,” “Its all his fault,”…. You will see lots and lots of blame in here.
Then we move from Shock to Resentment. Here there is a lot of self pity…..”why me?”"What did I do wrong?” “Poor Zakaria, now he is dead,” … there is lots of words of sympathy and feeling sorry here. Here morale and energy is at its lowest.
From Resentment we move to Acceptance. Here the mind starts to think positively and focuses on how to move on. “Lets Regroup,” “its happened and there is nothing we can do,” “we have to work harder,” “they deserved to win,”….
And soon after Acceptance comes Hope . Hope is where the new beginning starts. People start to focus on plans and take action. Energy levels rise again and the future looks better….
No matter what, we all go through SARAH. Some faster then others, some better than others. The bigger the EGO the harder it is. HOWEVER, many a time people get stuck in the SAR range. Those stuck in SAR manifest high degree of denial, “The people still want me,” “I can fix the problem,’…
These people become bitter and vengeful and become dysfunctional and dangerous. If you get to AH then you are on your way.
For the winners – when you opponent is in SAR – do not antagonize them. They must have the space to heal if not all hell will break loose.
Lets look at quotes from election candidates and see if we can examples of sarah talk…
Najib said the unanimous support was also made at the Barisan supreme council meeting, in which all component party leaders indicated their full support for Abdullah’s leadership.
“With this pledge, the supreme council hopes that there will be no doubts in the leadership of Umno. Najib
“We have to get out of being in a state of denial. We have to be introspective; self evaluate or search within in a sincere manner. The people are demanding that. There is no time to lick wounds and find faults in others,” he said when asked to comment on whether it was true that anti-Pak Lah and anti-Khairy sentiment was one of the factors leading to voters voting for the Opposition. Hishamuddin
The Kelantan Barisan Nasional chief described its sixth consecutive loss in the general election since 1990 as a humiliation which was brought on by a tsunami-like wave from the west coast.
He blamed outstation voters who were presumed to be Barisan supporters, but voted for PAS instead.
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu put on a brave front as feedback came from his supporters that he had lost his parliamentary seat.
He told them he was going home for a bath and did not return.
“I give you my word, ladies and gentlemen, that I will continue my efforts to strengthen Umno and Barisan Nasional, to launch the manifesto that we have promised so that our country will be safe, peaceful and properous (selamat, aman dan makmur),” he said. Pak Lah
Abdullah dismissed rumours that he was stepping down. “Why should I step down? Our party has won. I do not fear anyone except Allah,” he said
“I am very grateful for being given the opportunity to serve this constituency and I believe I have done whatever possible to make the people of Sungai Siput happy. “But times have changed and every good thing has to come to an end but there is always a new beginning,” he said. Samy Vellu
“It is not that they love Parti Keadilan Rakyat or PAS more that they voted against me,” he said, adding that Indians who were loyal Barisan supporters turned against him due to certain dissatisfaction. “The Chinese showed their resentment because of the economic backlash they often complained about,” he said in accepting his defeat. ZAM