Emotional Outlets, Ranked
Pros: Aerobic, healthy, slimming
10. Movies that Make You Cry
Definition/ Examples: Not necessarily miserable or bleak movies so much as heart-string-pulling ones: Forrest Gump, that Stephen Hawking movie, WALL-E, Frozen, Muppet Christmas Carol, what, shut up, fuck you, like you’re so tough, etc.
Pros: Requires little effort; guaranteed to work.
Cons: Embarrassing; feels like a weird use of two hours at home.
9. Mindfulness/ Meditation
Definition/ Examples: Just breathe evenly and slowly and calmly take in everything around you, without assessing anything negatively or positively. Look at the floor. Gray and fuzzy. Look at your desk. Lots of bills. Just neutral pieces of paper, if you think about it the right way. Look at the wall. Bare except for the Killers concert poster from when you and Sheila first got together. Imagine what she would think of you now, sitting here trying to assuage your anxiety by– no, stop, this is exactly the opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing. God, are you bad at mindfulness? What if you just don’t have the knack for it? Don’t think about it. Think about the curtains. Blue. Stupid dumb idiot blue. Worst color ever.
Pros: Important to at least try and be chill sometimes.
Cons: Fleeting; not cathartic.
Pros: Aerobic; get to listen to music; may lead to sex (see Sex, subsection Pros).
Cons: Risk of being a dork; risk of encountering douchebags; difficulty of finding a place free of douchebags/ where you’re free to be a dork; you can just listen to music at home and control the music; may lead to sex (see Sex, subsection Cons).
Definition/ Examples: See this
Pros: Might make something good; potential for critical adulation; permission to “act like an artist,” i.e. carte blanche to be insufferably flaky, sexually irresponsible, pompous, e.g. using the phrase “carte blanche,” emotionally unpredictable (see Just Wearing Your Heart on your Sleeve All the Time).
Cons: No money in it; you want to make art that transcends self-expression– while anger, sadness, horniness, etc. can be good jumping-off points for inspiration, art that serves entirely as catharsis/ therapy the whole way through tends to be unbearable.
Definitions/ Examples: Fucking
Pros: Physically pleasurable; potential to connect with another human on a non-sexual, e.g. spiritual level.
Cons: Getting someone to enthusiastically agree to do it with you has potential for substantial heartbreak and loss of self-esteem and tends to consist of a great deal of weird, performative mind games and complex, arbitrary rules, which seem to change and grow ever more complex with age and with the changing tide of social convention and technology; risk of STDs; risk of falling in love with someone who doesn’t love you; risk of someone you don’t love falling in love with you; risk of falling for someone then discovering something horrible about them; risk of experiencing jealousy; risk of having to feign confidence and over- or under-shooting it; risk of some other absolute abject failure to perform sexually for whatever reason, resulting in and from any number of psychological hangups; risk of sleeping with someone and subsequently feeling more alone than if you had never met the person; risk of waking up to find your sexual partner has been brutally murdered and you are the only suspect; risk of falling for someone then realizing your families have been at war with each other for generations/ you two are affiliated with rival gangs/ you are a Wolfman and he or she is already in love with a Dracula/ your sexual partner is a hyper-ambitious, stop-at-nothing prosecutor in a case where you are a hyper-ambitious, stop-at-nothing lawyer for the defense.
Definition/ Examples: The Loner’s Delight; Conjuring the Boner Dragon; The Headbanger’s Ball; Yelping
Pros: Physically pleasurable; usually not difficult.
Cons: Risk of being walked in on; risk of being late for work; difficulty in finding the right pornography or in conjuring the right sexual fantasy without your mind trailing off in any number of directions that result, rather than in increased sexual arousal, in anxiety, horror at one’s own creepy imagination, misery, anger, and so forth; a sort of law of diminishing returns, over the course of which one finds oneself increasingly sexually unsatisfied and longing for human contact, even if one is able to achieve orgasm.
Pros: Exhilarating; cathartic; get to pretend to be a rock star; everyone is equally making a fool of him- or herself so there’s nothing to be self-conscious about, in fact people refusing to make fools of themselves are the ones who actually look bad.
Cons: Risk of apathetic crowd; risk of technical difficulties; responsibility for one’s own bad song choice or egregious (i.e. actually painful to listen to) lack of ability or lack of knowledge of the song chosen; possibility of a huge crowd signing up before you, thus entirely negating or severely postponing your potential for emotional catharsis, causing you to scream at the DJ programming the songs, which you may feel guilt about later—see also Imbibing and Just Wearing Your Heart on your Sleeve All the Time.
Definition/ Examples: Setting live cockroaches loose in your best friend’s mother’s house, each of which has a cryptic message painstakingly painted on it; having the band Maroon 5 on when someone comes over, even though they know you don’t like Maroon 5; approaching people and offering them gum, then giving them literature on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints instead; calling your local vegan market and asking if they have rattlesnake meat by the pound and insisting that you have a medical condition where you need to ingest 34 pounds of it a day to live and that time is running out; suggesting someone watch the awful television program “Modern Family.”
Pros: Hilarious; creative; the victim might deserve it, i.e. justice.
Cons: Risk of being arrested; risk of getting your ass kicked.
Definition/ Examples: Consumable vices such as alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, unhealthy foods eaten to excess.
Pros: Pleasurable; cool, in all cases except overeating; even suffering from resultant addiction (see Cons) can at times at least outwardly appear cool
Cons: Habit-forming; unhealthy; can result in various forms of bad physical appearance or smell or other embarrassment.
1. Just Wearing Your Heart On Your Sleeve All the Time
Definitions/ Examples: Self-explanatory
Pros: Immediate gratification of catharsis; might make people less inclined to fuck with you or even ask you to do things; being true to yourself.
Cons: Might make people hate you who you might otherwise want around; you could get your ass kicked; if you’re not practiced in it to begin with your attempts at assertiveness might result only in derisive laughter and a “No, seriously,” from the other party; as with imbibing consumable vices, it’s habit-forming: the gateway drug of honesty leads to the harder drugs of cruelty, over-sensitivity, hysteria and theatricality. This is #1 but it is by no means ideal.
One Response to “Emotional Outlets, Ranked”
[…] Wrong,” despite its minimal lyrics, is a great fuckboy anthem in the classic Lindsey vein. Catharsis is important, and as you get older I think it can be important to widen the types of vicarious […]