Thursday, October 09, 2014

The Hulk wasn't in touch with his emotions

"Don't make me mad. You wouldn't like me when I'm mad."
--David Banner (The Hulk)

After a week of intensive management training and using "I" language (I think...I feel), it strikes me that the Hulk didn't own his emotions. Because, in theory, no one can make you feel any way. You feel a certain way because of your reaction to something external to you.

It would have been better if I phrased that, "No one can make me feel any way. I feel a certain way because of my reaction to something external to myself." I have to keep poking myself in the "I" to remember to use "I" language.

Words. I feel like a dog chasing its tail. I also feel like I'm parroting a cheesy self-help book. I've never felt overly comfortable being warm and fuzzy. Ironic isn't it.

I know that my defense mechanism is kicking in, trying to hold onto thinking patterns I've woven for decades. And I don't need a corporate psychologist to tell me my primary way of dealing with conflict is avoidance. And my number one avoidance mechanism is humor.

I resent sitting in a room with work strangers and hearing "Let's hear from the introverts" called out and having everyone stare at me. The whole point of being an introvert is not wanting attention drawn to you.  So I blurt out, "I feel labeled." To which the trainer responds, "What emotion are you feeling, right now?"

I then consult the list of "Feeling Words" and try to decide whether I'm feeling hostile, irked, miffed, vexed, edgy, unsure, or vulnerable. I opt for "giddy," which isn't even on the approved list of feelings.  At which the trainer makes some notes on notepad and moves on.

And speaking of feelings, I have been watching this series produced by Amazon (who blatantly is trying to compete with Netflix by producing original content to sell). It is called, Transparent. It is a brutally honest story of an extended Jewish family living in L.A. The plot centers around the father of the family coming out that he is a woman trapped in a man's body. He reveals himself to his three adult children one at a time. The subplots are the really messed up lives of the adult children.

I started watching the series thinking it would be a comedy because the lead is played by Jeffrey Tambor who starred in many great comedies such as Arrested Development and the Gary Shandling Show. But it is anything but a comedy. There are sadly funny moments, but most of it is gritty and painful. It is like watching a program about your own family and cringing that it is all coming out.

Not that I or my father ever announced that we were a woman trapped in a man's body. I feel more like a boy trapped in an aging man's body.

But I digress and I feel as though I've said enough.


Benignjamin said...

I've been watching Transparent also. And your right. What I thought would be a comedy, turned out to be an emotional family drama. Much better than I expected.

Time said...

And a bit of trivia if you didn't know: the mother in Transparent is played by the actress who played the mother in Who's the Boss with Tony Danza.