The human family is in crisis. Being ‘cool’, or ‘chill’ about emotional dismissal is turning us into bitter pushovers. I have come to the conclusion that I will gladly be labeled ‘crazy’ or ‘needy’ for holding someone accountable to a returned phone call, arrangement, or emotionally supportive conversation. This is called integrity. It’s unjust for us to accept a partner or lover who disregards your valid feelings or expectations. And it’s taking a toll on the fiber of humanity as a whole.
“Cool Girls never get angry. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. Basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain.”
Gillian Flynn in Gone Girl, says it best. “Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth while somehow maintaining a size 2. Hot and understanding. There are variations to the window dressing; Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics.”
The “cool girl” is not exclusively a heterosexual female. She might be a guy who is cool enough to tolerate anything his (male or female) partner does. Yes, many of us might in fact naturally have all of these qualities. Sexy yet down to earth. Sexy people can still be able to explore and converse feelings. Here’s the thing, collectively examining these feelings might be an important facet towards a level of human intelligence responsible for dismantling war and strife.
In the age of technology, the integrity of the way we communicate has become just as cold at the tools we use. The warmth of human needs are very real and something worth attending to. As a passionate communicator, I find it important to allow others the same expression I crave in return. Those who are unable to communicate properly are either just being lazy, selfish, or suffering from an emotional mental illness. Someone not calling you back when they say they will, or completely ghosting you, is their weakness and not a reflection of your value.
Psychologist husband-wife duo Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman and Dr. John Gottman’s long-time study tells us that “60% of spouses feel that insufficient appreciation of their expression leads to the end of a relationship. 83 percent of women cite a lack of validation for their feelings and opinions, followed by 56% stating that their spouse is not listening or talking about themselves too much.”
But perhaps there is an authentic cool girl — she exists within the lesbian community. Which, duh, makes a lot of sense when it comes to communication. After 12 years of research, Gottman found that, “In a fight, lesbians show more anger, humor, excitement, and interest than conflicting gay men. This suggests that lesbians are more emotionally expressive—positively and negatively—than gay men. This result may be the effect of having two women in a relationship. Both have been raised in a society where expressiveness is more acceptable for women than for men, and it shows up in their relationships.”
Some could say the disconnect stems from how society by and large doesn’t allow men emotional freedom. Too, others would rather turn a blind eye to these imbalances in order to keep the relationship and not be alone. Yet, for many of us, being alone might be healthier and more rewarding than being stone-walled by an emotionally unavailable individual.
“Overall, relationship and [communication] satisfaction and quality are about the same across all couple types (straight, gay, lesbian)”, says John Gottman. Although, Gay + Lesbian couples are also more likely to remain positive after a disagreement. When it comes to emotions, we think these couples may operate with very different principles than straight couples. Straight couples may have a lot to learn from gay and lesbian relationships,” explains Gottman. Probably.
Communication is all we have as humans. More over, it’s a magnificent tool that has positively changed the course of history. Perhaps now is the time to collectively make efforts towards improving this skill — starting with replying to that text message.