Thursday, October 21, 2010

Issues: Keep Them to Yourself

I apologize in advance if this post sounds insensitive. If it does, that is only because I am a very insensitive person--one who never learned how to laugh as a child.

I think people are becoming too showy about all of the problems they have. Teenagers, mostly, are gradually getting to the point where we are proud of all of our problems. We show off our problems like a new blouse--a pretty, deep purple one that has frills at the cuffs.

What ever happened to the image of the misunderstood problem child with a horrible past who keeps all of his problems to himself until he learns to love and finally reveals his troubling history in a dramatic scene at the end of the movie set to a somehow tragic alternative-rock version of The Old Rugged Cross.

And I have to say this too, because it's entirely relevant. I love The Breakfast Club--I love ANYTHING John Hughes--but The Breakfast Club is one of my favorites. But still, did it strike anyone else as almost comical how obvious all of the characters were about their problems? Ally Sheedy even dumps the contents of her purse on a desk for everyone to see so that they all know about her problems. How many times does Judd Nelson complain about his daddy problems? They've only known each other for two hours, yet they're pouring their hearts out to each other about all of their problems. Then, of course, they take cocaine and dance wildly to Karla DeVito's We Are Not Alone.

Problems are the first things teenagers talk to each other about after meeting for the first time. Soon it gets to the point where it's like this:

"Hey, my name is McKenzie. My mother beats me and I cut myself."

"Hi, McKenzie, my name is Luke. My father sets impossible standards and I'm constantly questioning my sexual orientation!"

It's just absurd. Whatever happened to what we did in the 50's, when everyone wanted to pretend they were perfect and kept their problems to themselves because they were ashamed of them? Why aren't we more ashamed of our problems?

And that one I mentioned earlier is the one that really kills me. Cutting yourself. I'm not even going to joke anymore about that, because that just drives me senseless with sympathy and unfounded guilt. Anorexia and self-mutilation. Often found in a package. Anorexia is almost as frustrating to me, because they just get into this impossibly brainwashed mindset where they're never happy with themselves.

(I wouldn't mind anorexia so much if they knew when to stop. Maybe if they saw the supermodels on TV, became unhappy with their appearance, fasted and exercised until they were well-toned and sexy, and THEN stopped. I don't mind girls with injured self-esteems obsessed with being perfect as long as they have the right body shape, which doesn't include skeletal or unconscious. You can still deprive yourself of food, girls, just make sure you stop before your form disappears completely!)

But back to the thing about issues, why are we always so quick to offer up our secrets and problems like they're a big, juicy steak that the listener will feast on delightedly? What's the point? They're not going to help you deal with it. They're going to feel uncomfortable, maybe offer you some awkwardly-delivered words of comfort, and then avoid you until they think you have it dealt with.

The moral of the story? Keep things to yourself. Don't tell anyone about your aunts' psychological disorder or your friend's homophobic parents except your psychiatrist and your cat. Don't breathe a word to any of your peers about your dyslexia or your cousin's involvement in gangs. We don't want to hear it. Humans are self-absorbed and get bored with other people's problems. Let's not pretend otherwise.

That Blond Guy

4 people secretly have a crush on me:

Anonymously Me said...

Hmmm...yeah, it is weird how people talk about their problems like it's some badge of honor.

But at the same time, talking about them is good. I don't get bored with people and their problems. Talking about what you're dealing with really does help. Trying to deal alone is stupid...I know this for a fact. I guess my point is...people CAN help other people. Keeping it to yourself is just dumb.

Boyd said...

I really agree; I hate it when people introduce themselves and within five minutes are talking about their various problems. Not that I don't listen and sympathize, I do, it's just tiresome after a while.

Also, I really like the last few lines of the post.

RainboRevolver said...

I agreeeeee with this post. I think that telling someone all of your problems right off the bat makes one vulnerable and boring and erases any air of mystery that they may have once had. It's lamesauce.

Kay said...


loljk I agree

but because of social networking sites and various other things, teenagers think that it's the most important thing int he world to "discover themselves" (whatever that means), and I guess that they find their problems to be something tangible that they can define themselves by.

It's a little... disgusting? Maybe not the perfect word, but I'll just leave it there to add a punch to my point.