Friday, September 29, 2006

Life as a soap character

Watching soaps on the telly drives me mental even though I tell myself "It isn't real, they are only actors". The characters on EastEnders are textbook examples of dysfunctional behaviour. If you want to live your lives like them here are a few simple rules for dishonest communication:

Is anything wrong? When asked this reply, "No, I'm fine" in a very unconvincing, flat tone of voice.
Is everything OK? When asked this reply, "Yes, great" in a very unconvincing, flat tone of voice.
Be oblivious to tone. Ignore all body language, intonation and facial expression that might indicate unhappiness, distress or concern.
Never question or challenge. Take an unconvincing answer at face value. Do not ask "Are you sure?" Do not seek explanations. Do not ask why someone behaved as they did.
Talk with a sarcastic tone. Ensure that you are sarcastic as much as possible. Snide is good.
Do not acknowledge apologies. When on the receiving end of an apology respond grumpily by repeating the original complaint. When making the apology immediately respond to the rebuff by abandoning any attempt at reconcilation and have a heated exchange.
Always interrupt. Do not allow the other people to complete their exposition.
I've got something to tell you. When you hear this do not listen attentively, instead interrupt with some piece of trivia, preferably one that "pulls the rug from under" the other's news.
Assume the worst. If you see or overhear something put the worst possible interpretation on people's motivations.
Believe malicious gossip. On hearing an unpleasant report or unkind hearsay about a friend or loved one assume it is true.
Organise surprises. Do not consider the plans, wishes, aspirations and likely response of the 'surprisee'.

If no specfic rules apply to a particular situation apply these two basic principles:

 • Deny the truth
 • Never establish the facts

3 comments:

Vita said...

Oh, la! That's good.

Vita said...

Hi. It's me again. Thank you for the references. Does Mary still drive Molly? I like that name for a Morris Minor. My brother (I think) still has a Morris Woody, which has a name but I don't know it. The last time I saw it it was in his garage being used as a shelf or cupboard. I know it's not there anymore, because the garage is no longer there. But he built a huge storage barn, and it may be in that. Like my Dad used to store fruit in his Porsche, and one time a brother discovered a bag of black juice which once was a bag of apples in the footwell of the Porsche. I think after that they gave up storing perishables inside. Naughty! Though I have been known to store a couple things in the bed of the '57 Chevy pickup in our garage. OK, I'm naughty, too. The point being, I copied the info and sent it to the appropriate brother.

MarkMcL said...

Vita
Yes we still have Molly. She gets a run out every few months. She is down at the cottage. We are/were not sure what will happen when we sell the cottage. Only last night Mary said she would like to keep Molly, take her back to Charles Wells in Bristol (specialist MM garage) and have the bodywork given a major overhaul. Then Molly could become our London city car. We shall see.
MarkMcL