“Just Calm Down”

It’s one of the most familiar paradoxes in life – the one whereby telling a stressed person to relax has completely the opposite effect.

I confess, I’ve been there.  It was a conversation on WhatsApp that I thought was in jest and, well, it turns out that it wasn’t.  During that conversation I did every conceivable really annoying thing that one can do on a messaging app from commenting on how long it was taking to write messages, to copying message style and, yes, saying to calm down. I did them all because I knew that they are irritating when someone is angry.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realise the recipient of my comments genuinely was considering that this was a conversation about plates.

There can be a number of reasons, I believe, for why it’s so annoying.  The first is that if you’re feeling passionately about something, you should be able to put the necessary amount of emotion in to it without needing to curb it.  To do otherwise is to feel that you’re being ignored or over-reacting, and that brings me to the second point.

It only takes a split second to get angry.  Just ask Bruce Banner.  However, it takes far longer than that to calm down.  I read one suggestion that, clinically, that could be anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes although I’m sure I’ve taken longer.

However, we tend to look at the recipient of the request for calm when we hear such a remark.  What about the person making it? Why do they make it?

It’s possibly because they are the ones that can’t handle the stress, and it’s a defence mechanism.  It could also be that the person asking you to relax does it because they want to connect with you, they want you to slow down and have some fun time and screw all the other things.

Unfortunately I guess it’s not always easy to realise that.

Relax don’t do it
When you want to go to it
Relax don’t do it
When you want to come
Relax don’t do it
When you want to come
When you want to come

Relax don’t do it
When you want to to go to it
Relax don’t do it
When you want to come
Relax don’t do it
When you want to suck to it
Relax don’t do it
When you want to come
Come-oh oh oh

But shoot it in the right direction
Make making it your intention-ooh yeah
Live those dreams
Scheme those schemes
Got to hit me
Hit me
Hit me with those laser beams

Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

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