Another blow against manners. And against social harmony.
Yet again, the therapy profession is exposed as the enemy of good manners and of decorum. Yet again, therapists are encouraging behaviors that disrespect the feelings of other people. Whatever happened to empathy?
Take the example of people who chew with their mouths open, who make all manner of disagreeable sounds when they masticate their food. Most people consider them to be rude and impolite. Most people avoid them. When neighbors invite friends for dinner parties they are not on the list. When their managers have lunch meetings with prospective clients, they are excluded.
Table manners are easy to acquire. Failing to master them speaks ill of you. Out there in the real world, most people will hold it against you.
But, now therapists have rushed out to defend those who refuse to change their ill-mannered ways. Therapists believe that anyone who does not like to listen to you make disgusting sounds over dinner has a psychiatric problem. Yes, indeed. What would we do without therapy?
Elizabeth Bernstein reports the sad results:
Christine Robinson was looking forward to a date night with her husband, Robert. She grilled flatbread veggie pizza, opened a bottle of Cabernet and lighted some candles.
Her husband took a sip of wine, swished it around in his mouth, then bit off the triangle tip of a pizza slice with a crunch. “The mix between the crispiness of the crust, the chewiness of the toppings and the slurping of the wine is what did it,” Ms. Robinson says.
She got up and turned on some classical music. But she could still hear his chewing. She turned the music up. That didn’t help. Then she asked her husband, “Please, slow down and enjoy the food.”
He snapped. “I am sorry I disgust you so much that we can’t even be in the same room together,” he told her, and stormed off.
If you can’t stand the sound of someone’s chewing, does that person need to close his or her mouth? Or do you?
The Robinsons have been married for twenty years. You really have to ask yourself what kind of man Mr. Robinson really is. Is he that stubborn and that inconsiderate that he cannot learn how to chew with his mouth closed? We are not asking him to become a scratch golfer. Does he not understand that his wife sees his behavior as an assault? Does he not know how repugnant he is to other people? How oblivious and self-centered can you be?
Of course, one has to wonder how Mrs. Robinson could have allowed this to continue for twenty years and why she would have married such a boor. But, still, we feel her pain. If she goes out and finds a Benjamin Braddock we would not blame her.
But, Mr. Robinson can now feel vindicated. The therapy culture is on his side. Serious experts in that godforsaken profession believe that if his wife does not like the way he eats the problem is hers. Thus, Mr. Robinson does not have to change anything about the way he behaves.
His wife is suffering from a psychiatric condition. She is hypersensitive to certain sounds.
Therapists believe that Mrs. Robinson and her ilk are incipient tyrants who are trying to change the way people eat. If so, she has not been notably successful. In fact, she has suffered through this for twenty years.
The experts say that when you are bothered by someone who is chewing popcorn loudly in a movie theatre you should not say anything, lest you offend them. The fact that their behavior is offensive to anyone who wants to watch the movie does not seem to matter.