Today’s relationship advice is all about managing stress using other people!
Stress can pop up all over the place. It usually begins simply enough – you get an extra workload, or an extra set of responsibilities, or something out of your control goes wrong.
At first, it’s not a big deal, but because you’ve got a few bigger responsibilities at the moment, you can’t immediately take care of the situation, and like a small gnat, it keeps popping up and annoying you.
The tiny reliable parts of life provide you with the security you need to tackle big problems, and without that completely imaginary safety net, you start to wonder if you really have what it takes to tackle everything else. After all, if you can’t keep the trivial parts of your life from spiraling out of control, how can you be sure that the same things won’t happen with the stuff that’s really important?
As your illusions of a perfect security start to become harder and harder to maintain, it becomes more and more necessary to cling to every second of reassurance available. And as a result, those small, insignificant moments of inconvenience become steadily more and more important.
Minor troubles that wouldn’t have even registered in your mind a week ago start to become categorical proof that not only is there a God, but also that He hates your guts and wants you to fail.
As disruptions and problems mount up, you get steadily angrier and angrier that those problems exist, because obviously if they didn’t exist, you would be out fixing everything in your life literally right now. But by this point, your problems have become all amorphous and nondescript and confusing, and when you get angry and frustrated you don’t really know what to get properly mad about.
But you need somewhere to stick those negative emotions.
Some people have the ability to take all that misplaced frustration out on friends or family, but odds are pretty good that you like the people close to you far too much to convince yourself that they’re secretly ruining your life.
The consequence of being close to someone is that it’s impossible to ignore all the intricacies of their personality. It takes a lot of work to be able to focus on one or two character flaws and block out all of the wonderful bits that made you interested in that person in the first place.
Too much work.
So instead, you need to start focusing on strangers!
Strangers are great because there’s no context for any of their actions. You don’t have to get properly mad at them, or disregard character traits that don’t fit your stereotypes or balance out their flaws as part of a complex personality. They’re so wonderfully, adorably simple!
And because you’re unlikely to ever see them again, as long as you don’t let it influence your actions you can think literally anything you want about strangers!
Of course, this can lead to somewhat frightening dichotomies.