How are you performing? You would naturally want to know what the venue is before answering . Am I talking about ballet or a concert, or some sport. or an academic test? We don’t use the word performance unless an activity has a certain status.. But we are often guilty of being the most horrible of spectators to ordinary human actions.
Take me for example. This morning my 5 yo Josie had something she was playing with, and my 4 yo Clara Rose wanted to play with it too. She started angling for it. Josie wasn’t ready to give it up, and she smacked Clara Rose who started to cry. I got upset. I sent Josie to her room for hitting, and I interrogated Clara Rose to make sure she knew that I knew that her performance wasn’t good either – she had been impatient and grabby. I was harsh to both of them.
So what am I doing? These two girls encounter a problem related to sharing and negotiating, and they have a hard time, and I freak out. BOOOOOO! BAD JOB!
And later on, I began to harp on my performance as a Dad. I suck. BOOOOOOO!
It seems so silly to write about it, but I do it and others do it all the time. Examples:
You didn’t clean the garage. BOOOOOOOO!
You criticized me about not cleaning the garage. BOOOOOOO!
You used a tone of voice I find displeasing. BOOOOO!
Maybe if I boo my loved ones like I would Manny Ramirez when he was dogging it in Boston, they would perform better. Maybe not idiot! BOOOOOOO!
People booo each other all the time without literally saying boo.
I can’t imagine myself saying to a displeased spouse or child of mine: Are you booing me? , but that is what they are doing, booing, and that is what I frequently do to them.
Hard to stop – I am a compulsive booo- er.
Ease up boo-er.
( I expanded here on an idea I read in a book by Carl Semmelroth called The Anger Habit Workbook)