Monday, January 07, 2008

Stress Case? Pas moi!

I found this in a magazine the other day. It was written by one of their readers.
"I'm pretty easygoing but the one thing that irritates the H#&% out of me is when people tell me to 'relax', 'calm down', or 'take it easy.' It's just so condescending and always puts me in a worse mood, no matter what" - Hila , 21

What does Hila, along with thousands upon thousands of other "easygoing" people, not seem to understand? For one, they don't really listen to anybody- least of all themselves. The suggestion of anger management to any of them would only start WWIII and hedging away from people like this is a fine art if you don't want to be affected by their ways. The toughest job for any friend of theirs is to show them how their behavior is the problem- not every one else on the planet. Their spouses have all my sympathy. If they're not married (usually they're divorced !) I hope their BFs , GFs or significant others have wings on their feet, because they'll certainly need to get away in the end.
Modern comedy tries to justify people with these attitudes that I find not to be funny and rather dangerous in a way. Many people have, by now, forgotten the "kids" movie that came out back in the 80s called "Gremlins". I believe there was even a "Gremlins 2" for those who could not get enough of this dark slapstick fantasy which ~displayed as behavior for kids~ is a nanny's or caregiver's worst nightmare. Years later we have shows on TV (such as America's Funniest Home Videos) which shows people doing downright stupid things and getting badly hurt in the process at which we are expected to laugh like hyenas. If this is entertainment I'm living on the wrong planet.
It may seem like I just went way off subject. Hear me out.
Other comedy shows and a general attitude of youths seem to be slanted toward destructive, psychotic behavior and treated as a joke therefore being justifiable. "If it's funny~ if we add a laugh track~ it's okay." Anger shows up in the little things and the big things as well. What do I mean? Being constantly slapdash about the way one handles everything is a small indication of a big anger problem. So is being abusive to a sibling- no matter how much of it goes on. Learning to dodge blows is not a part of growing up; Hello MOM !
My feeling is that the movie "Gremlins" brought out a latent or repressed anger in children that continued to proliferate through playground and other interactions to the point that now even girls wrestle and pummel each other like boys in the middle of a game of touch football- only meaner ! Anger and all it's various milder or stronger forms of expression are nearly encouraged. Jerry Springer really turned life into a pot-boiler and for what good I ask you? So that kids with camera phones can video a staged fight at school and put it on YouTube after school?
This nonsense is now considered a part of our culture but no one is really speaking out against the root of it. What we tolerate we have to learn to live with. I, for one, would rather be a hermit than put up with this behavior which fails to amuse me. Actually, it concerns me deeply. It should concern you, too. Somehow our ancestors expressed anger most of the time without pulling out a gun or convenient weapon. They spoke out without fear of retaliation. People listened to others concerns without prejudging and most of time they wanted to be reasonable not just react. People today are nearly surprised by good manners. Maybe we should start there.
Telling someone who's angry to "calm down", "take it easy" or "relax" might be their way (and is the right way ) to help someone deal with an anger problem. If you hear those words a lot you might want to consider joining an anger management group. Just a thought.
The Castle Lady with loving care, concern and many hugs !

No comments: