When everybody says no, no, no
Well it’s your misfortune and none of my own
Wrong, wrong, wrong
Well it’s your misfortune that sweetens my song
-Mike Doughty, “Your Misfortune”
I don’t understand the concept of keeping one’s problems and past difficulties all to oneself. I also don’t understand how “oneself” is actually a word, but there it is. I think that people’s past troubles and painful things makes them interesting, human, and understandable. Somebody trying to control you? Probably because they don’t feel very in control of their own life. It doesn’t excuse the controlling behavior, but it makes you more able to address it in a helpful way as opposed to a “fuck you” way.
Having someone tell you about the stuff that hurts them kind of forces the other person to let you over the little moat that they’ve built around themselves. It’s a sign that they trust you enough to feel like they don’t have to put on the glossy party mask for you. Instead of “fine, and you?” you get, “well, here’s what’s really going on.” It’s so much more useful, and it elevates conversation into an actual bonding experience rather than just a way to fling words at each other in some attempt to reassure ourselves that we really are “fine…and you?” People are not game show hosts and should not be expected to be happy all the time.
Granted, we all know that one person who seems to always be in a constant state of OMGWTFBBQ. I call those people “chaos magnets,” and I’m not talking about them here. As we’ve all learned, the best way to handle a chaos magnet is similar to how most of us handle a homeless person. Be nice, maybe help a little, then get out of there. Only through societal censure can society police its members. In other words, after a few people bolt for the door, the chaos magnets start to get the hint and start getting their shit together.
The people I am talking about are one’s friends, parents, and significant others. You’d be amazed at how much you can learn about a person’s motivations just by asking them what their most painful experience has been. It’s the things that hurt us that make us evolve as people. The joy just makes us want to tough out life long enough to keep learning. Pain is the broccoli, joy is the cheese sauce. Yeah, boyeee…it’s a vegetable metaphor.
There’s also a new post at Kill The Radio Star.