Emotions like everything else in life are a part of a continuum. They do not appear in discrete packets. There is an intermediary stage before irritation turns to anger, a smile turns into a laughter, between pulling someones leg and being mean and when assertiveness becomes stubbornness. Most of these observations, if I may add, are from the perspective of the watcher than the do-ee (I picked this from Everybody Loves Raymond)
So the question now is whether there’s a thin line separating these stages, how many degrees separate these stages and who owns the line? My guess is, its most always the watcher.
Brings me back to the fact that everything that we say or do today is driven by perceptions (good or bad, right or wrong). Though we’ve made great advances in Communication Technology what has taken a beating is the Inter-personal communication. We are too shy or too proud to go ask people what they think about what we are doing, have done or plan to do. Resultantly, we assume a reaction of a certain kind and go ahead with whatever we wanted to do…”I ate the entire chocolate because I thought you did not want it” or “We went and watched the play..didn’t think you’d be interested” There are of course zillion such examples.
Coming back to the thin line…. Is there a way to set the bar? Can we actually define words like anger and come to one common understanding on what it means and when it actually sets in?? If we actually did, I bet we’d wipe out the entire man-woman poking around gig. On second thoughts, life then wouldn’t be too much fun either.
Guess the only way to get around this is, that as an individual, much like an umpire in cricket we have to display consistency in our interpretation of the rule and call that delivery a wide or a no-ball at exactly the same point every time and regardless of who.
As the saying goes in cricket “The line belongs to the umpire!”