Asking the Hard Questions: Is it possible to run away from our problems?

By JASON SINGER, Staff Columnist

Despite the title, the following article is not about STDs. I am not a gynecologist and would feel unqualified to solicit you my advice in matters of personal hygiene. But like herpes, our internal struggles are something that never go away, even after we apply antiviral cream.

Running away from our problems is about as efficient as playing tag with Helen Keller. The fight or flight response is ingrained in our species and 9 times out of 10 we choose to flee.

Why?

For starters, humans hate confrontation. You know, that awkward emotionally intense moment when you have to look someone directly in the eyes and tell them how you feel. Gross. I’d rather strap a bloody steak to my chest and go for a swim with Jaws.

Being quite fluent in the field of running, I can honestly say it is just a more exciting way of postponing the inevitable. I didn’t stumble upon this realization until after I was a few grand poorer, a couple trips to Europe down, and a handful of unique and memorable experiences behind me to understand that the itch I still could not scratch was my test results saying I was positive with in denial.

So naturally for my readers I had to do a little hands on research and try my next best alternative before giving up entirely and booking an appointment with Dr. Phil.

Fight.

Tonight I confronted an individual who has had a heated confrontation a long time coming to him. Dialing my Uncle’s phone number, my breath shook with nervousness. It rang once, twice, and just before the third time I heard the nasally voice I hadn’t heard in three years come across the receiver and it was all I could do to keep from experiencing the chicken Caesar salad (no anchovies) I had for dinner a second time.

Confrontation was surprisingly easy. Partly because everything I was saying was irrefutable, partly because it felt nice to get that pile of crap off my chest to the person it was destined to be shoveled onto.

There is something beautiful in a well-crafted and perfectly executed confrontation. At the end of the conversation I felt invigorated; once again reminded why humans were the species to conquer the world.

When faced with fight or flight it is common to go with the latter because it is the easy way out. But who said life is easy?

Humans have become like minnows who scatter and hide as soon as the C word (confrontation) is even implied. It is time to regrow the same pair of cajones that put us at the top of the food chain in the first place.

Sometimes we get so used to not having direct predators, like a T-Rex, that we forget that the most dangerous and predacious species of all is in fact our own. So next time you are faced with fight or flight, try living on the edge and letting of a little steam with the first, more respectable option. This way you won’t be building up anger deep inside you that eventually leads you to biting off someone’s ear like Mike Tyson.

Just remember people that at the end of the day herpes may be incurable, but problems aren’t. And for everything else, there’s MasterCard.

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Photo on left via @NicoleAuerbach and on the right via the AP

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