REFERRED PROBLEMS. People feeling grumpy not so much for the problem they’re grumpy about but for some farther and deeper underlying cause. It happens. Yes, it’s even happened to each of us.
We see them all the time. But the person affected often doesn’t see it at the time because they’re all at sea with a flurry of unreconciled emotion.
I was reminded of this when watching U.S. relationship drama show, Gilmore Girls. Rory, one of the main characters, is upset at her mother and father for marrying without them telling her. In her confusion and seething inner anger, as a Yale editor, she writes an article involving one of her rich boyfriend’s parties. The piece is supposed to be light and humorous, but instead it is tinged with sarcasm, and it mocks the innocent subjects. Needless to say it sparks a domestic for Rory and her boyfriend. Only after it does she see the error in her way and what lied beneath it. Of course, she’s quick to apologise, as we all should be.
We often don’t mean to be mean, but when we have unreconciled stuff “boiling” within us it can hardly help—our conscious minds swimming in muck.
It pays to be honest and forthright with others as well as ourselves and resolve the dissonance before we hurt people and are left embarrassed and troubled further.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.