Recently, whenever I followed the news of any kind, be it news sites or my social feed, I was dumbfounded by the negativity I was seeing. No matter the topic – the pandemic or vaccination related; discussions around the Istanbul convention and its effects on “traditional families”; the church not blessing “sins”; violence against women and issues of their safety etc etc.
It seems like there’s a wedge being driven between people – no matter their gender or orientation, religious or (pseudo)scientific beliefs. Not necessarily in order to serve some ulterior motives, but I now believe anger ended up as the “best” and easiest response to everything happening right now.
Anger is a tricky emotion to consider. On the one hand, traditionally anger is considered to be one of the core emotions – a typical list being sadness, fear, anger, joy, excitement, sexual excitement and disgust. And sure, in some cases anger might be “core”, i.e after being slighted or somehow mistreated. But there are also cases when anger is a secondary emotion – one that would not happen if one or more of the other core emotions were not present.
In that case, we’re not angry because we’re angry, we’re angry because we’re scared, sad, disgusted etc. This rather neurotic form of anger functions as a defence mechanism against fully experiencing that which underlies the emotion. And, in order to appear, it requires effort – judgement.
A friend of mine, whom I discussed anger and negativity with, gave an example. Say your significant other decided to go out alone (to a party, meet with his/her friends etc.). In addition, he/she came home later than expected.
You could indeed think to yourself and acknowledge that you’re simply sad because you could not spend the evening together. And say that to him/her.
But that would make you feel vulnerable – showing this naked emotion you’re feeling, one entwined with self-doubt and lack of self-worth.
Instead, you add your own judgment (or interpretation of why this happened) and lash out – “You don’t want to spend time with me and you don’t love me anymore”, for example. Disregarding the fact that it’s your ego acting out , this way of “dealing” with emotions ends up being destructive instead of solving the issues at hand.
So, returning to the topic at hand – the negativity in media. In Lithuania, it’s been slightly over a year since our first lockdown (now still deep into the second one). Life has been rough for many people – their livelihood / work life interrupted or outright stopped due to restrictions, relationships put under strain (due to being separated or put together too soon).
There are bound to be issues – sadness due to breaking of relationships, lack of physical / emotional contact; fear for the future because safety and financial issues and many more.
Those who never attuned to their core emotions are akin to powder kegs ready to explode. And there is no way to relieve the pent up energy – no parties on Friday night after the whole week of zoom meetings, no vacations and exciting activities to plan.
Especially if you’re still stuck at home, as in my case, alone.
I believe some of the stressed out people formed their own judgments to fuel anger, most likely based on their own personal beliefs / past experiences.
But most are simply absorbing the media and looking for explanations / excuses or like-minded people. And the media, well, is rarely interested in positivity, instead showing the most discussed / controversial topics first, promoting unconstructive / troll comments; fuelling that anger.
And seeing so much anger toward people or groups that do not deserve any of that type of treatment, makes me genuinely sad.
Allowing LGBTQ+ people to live with dignity and love would in no way hurt those who want* to have traditional families.
Religious leaders, on the one hand claiming that god created and loves everyone, choosing to slap “sinful” people with the other (in words or restrictions).
Standing by and ignoring when not only LGBTQ+ people, but women (and men) are physically or sexually threatened and attacked.
When instead of feeling the togetherness and working towards the common good, multiple camps, ready to fight for “their” “truth” or “them” in general, are formed – politically or nationally.
* The caveat is the whole family must want the same; demanding your child, for example, to be the way you want them to be, not who or what they are is the worst thing imaginable. A musician friend accurately portrayed a mom who felt her understanding of a family threatened by her sons’ and his relationship.
(spaudai leidau publikuoti suderinus publikavimo sąlygas)
KAIP GYVENTI SU JAUSMU, KAD KITIEMS ESI…
The whole reason I’m writing this today is to at least try to spread the awareness and encourage you to self-reflect. I have no reason to believe that this text would ever reach and change the hearts of the angriest people right now, but even in the case of those whose thinking aligns with mine, do not let anger get the better of you.
As in the case of Tomas, it would have been much easier to be angry.
UŽLAUŽIU TRAGIŠKAI NUSVIRUSIAS RANKAS,
O TU SAKAI: „STOVĖK, KAIP STOVI LAISVĖ!”.
Pastarosiomis dienomis iš Jūsų gaunu…
Instead, think about your emotions, acknowledge them and proceed with your heart open. Also think what the people on the other side of the discussion must be thinking, what drives their anger. And aim to deflate the anger with love, not with hate and cruel words.
Be the change. It has to start somewhere.