Staff writer Frank Friedlander gives us the fight styles from Looney Tunes and how to avoid doing so in relationships.
When confrontation arises amongst friends and lovers, and it will at some point, there is no shortage of ways to handle it. While it is always important to keep your cool when things get heated, one thing to avoid is saying things that you will regret later on. However, there are some who are incapable of this. They will say hurtful things; often going below the belt, without thinking about the consequences until after the damage is done:
Daffy Duck always manages to blow his top in the heat of the moment. When faced with an unfavorable situation, he frantically flaps his wings spouting out inaudible obscenities. Rarely does it end up going his way. It tends to blow up in his face, literally. More often than not, he storms off grumbling and angrier than he started, with his antagonist rolling his eyes.
When people in the real world go this route in the midst of an argument, the end result tends to be similar, the obvious difference being that when it blows up in their face it’s usually in the figurative sense rather than the literal.
Others have more of a passive aggressive way of dealing with these situations. While they may seem calmer and cooler on the surface, and often avoid saying truly hurtful things, this doesn’t make the end result much better. In fact, since their real feelings never get out, the dilemma is often not solved, and it can fester for hours, days, weeks, or even longer.
Bugs is quite the cool customer indeed. He never lets his rival get under his skin. The opposite is not true. When confronted, Bugs will gloss over the problem, usually in a mocking fashion. Unlike the case with Daffy, with Bugs it’s usually the other person (or animal) that ends up storming off.
However, this is rarely the end of the situation. It ends up festering and his antagonist will come back for more, and be treated to the same reaction from Bugs. The cycle is then repeated over and over.
Those who tend to do battle the Bugs Bunny way are often involved in long-term confrontations. In many cases, this is because the matter at hand is more important to the other person, and not Bugs. However, “Bugs” refuses to let the other have their way and would rather antagonize them further until they march off in a huff. Long after they’ve forgotten about the issue, the other individual has not, and it can result in tension whenever the two are together, until such a time that the two are willing to sit down and sort things out.
One more example, similar to Bugs is those who ignore the confrontation completely, thus letting their antagonist lose their cool to such a point that they are doing battle with themselves, as they sit back and become a spectator. Unlike Bugs, these people won’t do anything to further antagonize the other person, but they prefer to let them blow off their own steam.
Ah, yes, who can forget this speedy little desert bird. He may seem completely outmatched by the crafty genius, Wile E. Coyote who seems to have an endless credit line with Acme, but he never seems to be bothered by this. No sir, the Roadrunner prefers to sit back and let the coyote use his own momentum carry him off a cliff as he looks on and down. It is then the antagonist who makes an ass out of himself and the roadrunner simply walks off and goes about his or her business.
In some cases, the antagonist eventually realizes how one sided the issue is and apologizes. In others, as with Bugs it can result in a long term issue, which is never resolved due to the other person’s failure to acknowledge the situation at hand, or at least do nothing to show that they acknowledge it.
Do any of these styles of dealing with confrontation seem familiar to you? I’d be willing to bet that they all do. At some point in our lives, we’ve likely all dealt with confrontation like a Daffy Duck, a Bugs Bunny, and a Roadrunner. Chances are, we’ve all been on the other side of one as well. While some of these methods may seem to be more favorable than others, none are optimal, at least if the long term plan is to keep the relationship in tact.
It’s easy to say that the best way to go is to simply not get into fights or arguments with our friends and love ones, but this is simply not realistic. Confrontation is a part of our nature, and can be a healthy one at that. It can help us get a better understanding of one another, and further build our relationship. However, when it does happen, it is never in anybody’s best interest for the other to blow his top, storm off, or simply make a giant fool out of him/her self. The best way to deal with it is to sit down and discuss the matter and come down to a resolution that benefits both sides, rather than behaving like a pair of cartoon characters, this ruining relationships forever.