Yelling at anxious people
It's a leg hole trap for small animals. We found it in the woods ages ago. Welcome to rural Virginia.
Coincidentally, if anything is coincidental for a writer, I came upon it again this morning while grumpily taking the house apart for an item my son needed for school. (um... it was in his locker all the time) At the time of course I thought my anger was about his losing the thing, and his not looking hard enough, and his expecting me to find it, and his not caring enough about the consequences, .... But really: I was mad at him for being mad. And really, he was worried and it worried me to see him worried..
I know better. But I felt it anyway. It is a really bad habit and I see it all the time in myself and others. Getting angry at people for being angry, or anxious, or emotional - it's a really common pattern - as is lecturing. I'm chagrined to point to the slapping video clip I posted last week as an example. And, as Dr. Phil would cloyingly ask us: "how's that working for you?" Not well. It NEVER works. Like I said, I know better, but I fall into it anyway. I stalked around looking for this silly thing until I started to laugh at myself, and then I spotted the leghole trap and it got really clear: yelling at someone who is feeling upset is pretty stupid. Anxiety gets worse when we escalate it and, well, not very parental.
How do you get an animal out of the trap? It's hard. How do you deal with an anxious person in a stressful situation? Pretty similar. But anger and lecturing are probably about as useful either way.