Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Rules of Engagement

Anger and upset are very much a part of the human package. There's nothing wrong with having emotions. You can't NOT have them. We tend to work very hard at avoiding them, especially anger and upset. Or limit them, like there's a time and a place for them. Emotions don't tend to follow schedules. We grow up being discouraged to show our emotions (Don't you raise your voice to me! ...I'll give you something to cry about!) We're even discouraged as adults. (I can't talk to you when you're like this - treating someone who's angry like they're a crazy person.)If people allowed themselves and others the space to just let their emotions flow, they'd probably move through them faster and we'd all probably be a little bit happier. We'd also get to know each other a lot better and probably feel safer because of it.

Easier said than done. Especially if you're around people where there hasn't been any agreement made on how to handle emotional situations.

I have two rules that I personally have that I apply to any heated argument.

1) No hitting. No destruction of property.

2) No dirty tricks. (This could be anything from lying about what's really true for myself - No, I'm not upset.- to bringing up issues unrelated to the topic just to try to hurt the other person.)

I try to adhere to these rules as best I can and if the other person breaks them, all bets are off and I then have the option to get nasty.

My girlfriend and I are like any couple. We have lots of good times and an occasional rough spot that needs to be smoothed out with some conscious contact. These engagements are important to me, because this is where I really get to know her on a very intimate level. I also get to know her personal rules, usually through trial and error.

Things Not To Say Or Do In An Argument With My Girlfriend

- Do not equate her behavior to that of either of her parents

- Do not make a reference to her "very fine boo-tay."

- Do not talk like a duck.

- Do not make farting sounds (real or imitation)

- It's okay to leave the television on, but ignore it. Don't you even dare look at it. (Really best to just turn it off)

- No unscheduled performances of The Naked Weenie Dance.

I hope you find this helpful. As an artist, I think it's important to study not only how people handle upset, but how you handle upset. I also believe that the more you allow yourself to fully experience anger and pain, the more able you are to fully experience pleasure and love.

SOIREE DADA: We received a lot of positive feedback on our performance at Looptopia. Jeff Watt put together a small montage focusing in on one of my favorite pieces.

Brooke Bagnall
from the sketch comedy group Blaire is competing in a contest to be an NPR host. Seems like a very un-NPR thing to do, however her entry is interesting and sounds just like the real deal. It just takes a second to register to vote.

Brooke Bagnall on Public Radio's Talent Quest