Relax!

Did you ever think about the way that the word "relax" can be either the most soothing or the most unrelaxing thing to hear?

If you are anxious or stressed or agitated and someone gives you a hug or pats your arm and tells you gently, "Relax..." How do you feel?

Under the same circumstance, if someone yells at you "RELAX!!!" How does that make you feel?

Which tone do you choose when you tell someone to relax?

Do you try to be calming? Or do you make them feel worse? I hope the former.

If the latter? Stop it. You aren't helping the situation.

How about glares? Do you use those as a tactic in your displeasure arsenal?

Glares really are not helpful and in many cases, the person who is on the receiving end might not even know what you are upset about. It is pretty unfair of you to give them a dirty look and expect them to read your mind.

I know from experience. My ex-boyfriend used to glare at me all the time and not only did I not ever know what his problem was (see above, am not a mind reader), it hurt my feelings to be looked at like that.

If you think "Well, sometimes someone deserves a dirty look," have you taken a look at yourself in the mirror when you have that face? Try it. How do you look? I'm guessing you probably wouldn't want to be looked at with that expression either. Now smile. Which looks better on you?

Having a dirty look on your face is just unbecoming. It just makes YOU look bad and it also makes you look BAD.  Just don't do it.

What about condescension? That is also super becoming right?

NOT.

Do you ever get a good response when you talk to someone condescendingly? I'm guessing... no?

When condescension is employed the desired outcome is seemingly for the person on the receiving end not only to do what we want because what we want is way smarter and better, (obviously, duh!!!) but to also realize that their way is (and often they are) inferior. Right? RIGHT??!?!?!* 

*That is me being sarcastically condescending, in case you didn't get it.

But what outcome does it actually have? Well, though the person might comply, they are most likely going to resent being talked to that way. Do you want someone you love to resent you? Also, do you really want someone you love to tell you, "Yeah, thanks for pointing out to me how stupid I am. You are right. I am stupid." Would we want to make anyone feel like that was our goal? I hope not.

There is a scene in Friday Night Lights in the second episode of the series, just a tiny little scene, that stuck with me. I scoured YouTube for it but I couldn't find it so I had to record it with my phone off Netflix on my monitor so that I could share it with you (sorry for the bad quality). The whole scene is just twelve seconds but it tells you everything about who Tami and Eric Taylor are as individuals and who they are as a couple.

Tami and Eric sit down to dinner. He's wearing a baseball cap at the table. He almost always wears a baseball cap so I am pretty sure that Tami has probably told her husband a thousand times not to wear his baseball cap at the table. She is probably so sick of it, having to remind him of this simple act of etiquette that she obviously values. But how does Tami address her husband? With annoyance? With condescension?

video

Tami Taylor GOALS.  She's nice, she's patient, she talks to him kindly, respectfully, the way one should talk to someone ones loves. She certainly doesn't glare at him.

She got what she wanted and she was sweet about it and he didn't mind one bit acquiescing because he was treated respectfully.

I just loved that scene. I basically want to BE Tami Taylor. I just need an Eric.

So, I gently suggest to you with a smile on my face and a pat on your arm that we choose our tones and facial expressions in a way that is the most becoming to ourselves, for our own benefit and for the benefit of those we love. I am pretty sure the people in our lives will appreciate it.

Let's all be like Tami Taylor.

***

How do you express yourself when you are annoyed? Do you have any tips? Tell me in the comments!


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Comments

  1. That is a great post about how to communicate clearly.

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