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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Emotions, Arguing and The Most Common Yet Unhelpful Things Ever

I am cursed this terrible thing called emotions. Now most people suffer a similar disease, but unlike me, other people are better at hiding them. I used to think I was and then one day I released this was simply denial to the fact I actually wear my heart on a piece of rope dangled in front of me with a large 'kick me' sign floating over the top.

This discovery (which has been gradual, not a sudden epiphany) has taken place probably over the last five years or so from around my second year of university until present day. I think scientists call developing this disease 'growing the fuck up'.

Now the comforts I have taken from this discovery are the following: 1) it is good to have emotions 2) it is natural and bloody human to have emotions 3) there are still people who are 10 times worse at expressing their emotions in moderation than me.

So what has this got to do with unhelpful things? Well the majority of my complaints in this post will in some way emotion related (although not exclusively).

Lets start with arguments.

When you have a argument or a disagreement with someone it is common curtsey and a well established practice to rant and rave a slightly adapted, one sided and probably inaccurate version of events to people you are usually fairly sure will take your side.

This isn't a judgement, we've all done it.

and we shouldn't. We screw ourselves over with this. If I'm being a massive dick I want to know. People are naturally wired to not blame themselves where at all possible.

In fairness, arguments themselves are futile. You will never really convince someone to your side, or if you do using actual proof then all you do is build up potentially damaging resentment which will ruin your relationship with that person forever.

I'm not talking about necessary arguments here, like when a couple need to argue about how to raise the kids. or even how best to build the camp so it is zombie proof after the ghoul ridden Apocalypse has happened. (although in both these cases if you are at the point of arguing then this shows extremely poor forward planning and your probably already a failure as a parent or dessert.)

I mean here stupid political theories about the way the world should work or why you don't like celebrities or whatever. These are things that all originate in opinions and nine times out of ten are not qualifiable in a right and wrong style of classifying. The trouble with politics is there is not a right answer. Every system is flawed so arguing is pointless because you will only ever see the strengths of your stance and ignore or at best weakly accept the flaws, and then vice versa only focus on the flaws of your opponents arguments and never really acknowledge the good points.


Anyway... so after you rant to this poor sod who knows nothing o the other person's point of view they will likely regal you with some such line as "You know your right so that is all that matters". This is very very bad. First of all, the person may not be right, and now it has been enforced into their mind that they are right. If I am being a knobjockey, the last thing I need is to be utterly convinced that I'm not. I would rather the other person told me I was wrong so I could focus my energy deciding if flowers were too undignified as an apology.

You will only get told the truth like this if a number of criteria are hit and most of the time one of these will be lacking so you get the unhelpful response. The criteria seems to be if the other person is extremely close to you (so are probably the ones your likely to argue with anyway) and know both sides of the argument with no shred of bias. This is very unlikely to happen.

I was tempted to put if the other person was confident enough to tell you that your wrong too, but decided this is probably not true because they may then tell you your wrong simply for the giggles.

The next thing is 'move on'. There are a number of situations that end with these words and they are by far the biggest life cop out ever. Moving on, whether it be from a death or a relationship, to one of the hardest things in the human experience. I get annoyed when people get seemingly annoyed at people who are still mourning the death of a loved one ten years later. Moving on just is not that simple, and I would go as far to say that for many is impossible. Even 'strong' (I have another rant about the term 'strong people' but more about that another time) people are probably putting on a front or pushing their feelings of despair into the darkest regions of their minds.

But why do we say it? Simple. It's the only thing you can say really. Whether it is because you are simply not that interested and you want the whiny git to shut up, you can't just tell them that. As humans we have this habit of not wanting to kick people who are already upset. So we tell them to 'move on' which we spin as "Move on with your life and be happy" (despite knowing that is impossible) but what we really mean is "Move on to another topic that won't make me look at my own life in horror and drink myself to sleep tonight"

I'm sure many out there are genuine in wanting to help a friend or a partner through grief, don't get me wrong. If a friend comes to me with troubles I would bend the world to help them and do whatever I can for them to feel better. Unfortunately most of the time there is just not a damn thing we can do no matter how much our soul bleeds for them. This is why we have the pre-recorded socially acceptable get out clauses.

The other one, which I have done a little digging about, is when people say "Just drink moderately then" or "stop smoking gradually, one step at a time!".

When it comes to addiction people often don't realise that our brains all process certain chemicals differently. Our brain receptors responsible for addiction are all unique and respond to different stimulus differently.

If you find yourself unable to understand why someone can't simply have one or two drinks and happily leave it at that it is because your brain is wired a totally different way to them. It is impossible for them to see drinking or drug taking in the same way you do.

My personal problem is alcohol. I am not an alcohol or anything because the first thing I think in the morning "Oh God I'm so tired I hope I don't fall asleep on the train" rather than "I need a bottle of rum with my coffee". However, I am incapable of moderate drinking. Say having one glass of wine with dinner. That is a very difficult thing for me to do. I can do it, just, but it is very hard. If I drink I need to drink a fairly big amount and get buzzed, at least on the tipsy/drunk border.

I am better not drinking at all than simply having one or two drinks. My brain just works in the way that as soon as I have one drink I get that itch in my mind, that overwhelming craving for more. If I don't drink at all I'm fine. The trouble is even people with similar troubles will never fully understand my individual sensation, and likewise I won't theirs. Once I get to the point of being mildly drunk, that itch actually subsides and it is easier for me to then stop drinking. But of course by then my inhibitions have plumeted from what I've already drunk. So it is a catch 22.

My point here is that it is very unhelpful for someone to tell me just to have one or two drinks. That is very difficult and as a result I can never enjoy the night then.

Anyone else find this?


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