The other day I read something about how men are terrified of women’s anger. And how they generally are uncomfortable with any form of emotional intensity from us whatsoever. Or, as this article put it, they need us to wrangle our “inner Courtney Love.” Apparently, letting Courtney see the light of day puts them in a state psychologists call “flooding,” which is basically, I think, akin to being waterboarded with FEELINGS.
While all this is probably true, the article made me mad (whoops, there’s that pesky intensity again) because I’m a pretty intense person myself, and, frankly, who likes to be told you need to not be yourself 95% of the time or you’ll scare people? It’s exhausting pretending you’re mellow all the time. Scratch that, it’s exhausting pretending you’re mellow for ten minutes.
(Just so you know, if you ever hear me saying anything like “I’m over it” or “it is what it is” or “we can agree to disagree” just know it is taking the strength of a thousand men for me to utter those words, and it is not how I really feel.)
Fortunately, I’ve surrounded myself with a bunch of women who are equally intense as me, if not more. These ladies are pretty skilled at handling their intensity though. They aren’t drama queens, not even close. But they’re real. They can get worked up, upset or freaked out on occasion, and they aren’t afraid to be completely honest about it. And I’m not afraid to hear it.
I love it, in fact. It makes me feel alive…the way I gather roller coasters make some people feel alive. Roller coasters make me feel like I’m inches away from certain death. I guess the way INTENSE FEELINGS make men feel like they are about to die. It’s all relative, isn’t it?
William Shakespeare wasn’t afraid of a little lipstick-smeared, white-slip-wearing Courtney Love. A couple of months ago, my son took part in this state competition where high school students performed monologues from Shakespeare, and let me tell you, that bro was intense. In fact, he was constantly having his characters, both men and women, hold forth on seriously intense issues such as murder, love, death, murder, sexuality, feeling crazy, feeling lustful, flowers and finally, murder. These high schoolers were the greatest. They held nothing back. They dropped to the floor, ROLLED on the floor, thrashed, cried, danced, laughed, screamed, waved imaginary daggers, etc. It was a veritable cornucopia of intensity. I loved it. I adored it. That Will Shakespeare, he held nothing back. He was not afraid. I wonder, though, if he was able to handle real people in real life having real intense feelings. Something tells me the answer is yes.
So, here’s the take away. Cradle your inner Ms. Love. Don’t hate on her. And if she needs to come out, feel free to call (not past 10 pm.)