Social Dilemma: Does someone telling you to calm down make you more upset?

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Tuesday’s TRY Social Dilemma has to do with well, trying to calm someone down. Here’s Carolyn’s email: 

Hi Jaime.

I listen to your dilemmas every day and you cover a lot of different questions from people but I’ve never heard you talk about this, and I’m hoping that you will. I have a HUGE pet peeve, and my husband and several friends don’t understand it. I can’t stand it when someone tells me to “calm down” or “relax” when I’m angry or upset. Never in my life has someone saying “calm down or relax” played a part in me doing that.

In fact, it’s the opposite If someone tells me to calm down, I get so angry and now I’m not just upset over whatever the first issue was, but now I’m upset at the person who is telling me to calm down. My husband and some of my friends say they’re just trying to help, but I don’t think it helps at all. I think it makes it worse and invalidates my feelings. They think I’m not “hearing it right.”

I can’t be alone in this. I hope you’ll talk about this as a dilemma Jaime. I am sure other people get just as angry as I do.

Thanks so much for helping us through this crazy year of 2020.

Stay safe,

~ Carolyn. 

Jaime says,

“Well, I’m with Carolyn on this one all the way. I do not like it at all when anyone, spouse, friend, coworker, anyone tells me to calm down. I feel like they’re not hearing me, and not allowing me a minute to feel the way I need to feel. But even some of my friends have said they’re just trying to help and I’m misunderstanding.”

So, what do you think? If someone tells you to calm down or to relax when you’re angry, does it work for you, or does it make you angrier?

Let us know on the NEWS10 Facebook page or let Jaime know on the TRY Facebook page.


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