Filed under: Get Friendly
A new friend of mine is going through a hell of a life change. After being safely enclosed in a domestic arrangement for over a decade, he’s now single and living in a share household. Along with the expected issues was one I hadn’t really considered: dealing with the utter destruction of his sense of personal space.
Being an attractive and charming lad he has had a few occasions of being literally besieged by female attention. He had tried a number of strategies to communicate his wishes and nothing was working. Eventually escorting one over eager femme to the door was his only option. All the while finding it increasingly upsetting to feel like he had to be rude in order to get the attention to stop.
The pain he was experiencing was real. It struck me that the root of what he was feeling was powerlessness, being out of control. And I had to share the only defence I know that is an ongoing strategy where everyone wins.
So often the frustration of feeling powerless, of being out of control can lead to rudeness and anger. It’s a cycle that can be cleanly stopped by diffusing and diverting. You can tell someone that they’re being unreasonable and inconsiderate if you can make them laugh at the same time. Silly wins. Laughing at monsters means they have no power over you.
Gavin and I were having a “what’s that all about” conversation about the number of funny bloggers. I think that it’s a reflection of an innate understanding of power.
Creative people tend to shy away from the overbearing and inconsiderate, to be opposed to using force of any kind, and to not want to get involved in that kind of behaviour. So what’s choice that we have when we want our ideas to have weight? I think that the most effective is to be amusing.
Have you ever noticed how people will lean in when someone is telling a funny story, that the speaker can be quiet and also captivate a whole group of people? The person who is generating the laughter is the one who’s in control.
I like the discipline of response to a situation as opposed to a reaction. I do try to be funny when I’m peeved. Not that I’m perfect. Sometimes a perfectly timed, not really ironic threat of violence works too. Hi-YA!
6 Comments so far
Leave a comment