Is It Better to Bite Your Tongue, Or Bite The Other Person?

I watched a new ITV show last night about American beauty pageants for woman of a more “mature” age. Think Honey Boo Boo but with the drama of The Real Housewives. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!! But, I admit to being a bit of a reality tv addict. Go ahead and judge me. I still love to read a good novel, and maintain a highly academic life, but I just love the drama of reality shows. Anyway, at the end of the show there was of course a big blow out scene between two pageant ladies because they had worn the same outfit to the airport on their way to the Mrs. America contest. The more seasoned pageant competitor was furious that her underling had dared to copy her. My partners house mate made disparaging noises and kept giving me disgusted looks as I continued to watch. At the end he made a lame remark about how unnecessary the drama was.

As we continued to talk about this, I remarked that while yes, the dramatic cat fights often witnessed on American TV are extremely over the top, we do tend to air our grievances and move on more quickly than those I have observed in the UK. In Britain, people tend to hold their anger towards others in. Obviously there exists exceptions to this (The Only Way is Essex for example), but for the most part among my friends and acquaintances I have witnessed a general lack of confrontation, even when extremely necessary.

For example, a group of my friends knows there is a lot of tension between two girls that are apart of our posse. A semi-fight over a guy. Everyone talks about it, we know that both girls talk about the others behind their backs, and most of us have taken sides. Now, among my American friends, I highly doubt we would have let things carry on like this for so long. In fact, I think a few weeks (if not days) in, the girls would have had a screaming match outside of a social or pub, we all would have stared, discussed it for a few days, and then had some manner of a resolution. More dramatic, emotional and scene causing, yes. But at least the issue would be over with. As it stands, our group still has to feel the awkwardness of the two girls, and them avoiding social interactions.

I’m left with the question of, which method is better? The ostentatious American way of battling it out quickly in public, or the British way of keeping things hush hush. Both have advantages. If I  had to pick, if I knew someone had an issue with me, I would rather the screaming death match instead of them skulking and hating my existence in silence. Perhaps this is the American in me. I’m not sure. Any thoughts?


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