One thing ya gotta say about the oh-so-liberal Washington Post: It sure knows who its readers are. And they’re not red-state types.
In this week’s Health section, the Post has an article titled “So You’re a Loser: The Feeling is Rotten But You Can Recover.” And no, there’s no companion article on the perils of manic over-elation for those who cheered themselves hoarse over G.W. Bush’s victory last week.
Instead, we get Cindy Curtis of Reston, Va.:
“Curtis, who campaigned in her community for Sen. John Kerry, had one word last week for how she felt: ‘Awful.’
“‘I’m in mourning,’ Curtis said. ‘I really am quiet, angry, introverted. I feel very defeated. . . . I won’t turn on the TV or read the paper for a while; it’s just too much. You’ve got to be able to swallow something and digest it, and then take the next step.'”
Fortunately, says the article’s author, Jennifer Huget, Cindy’s troubles may not last forever:
“According to psychologists, Curtis is on the right track. Whether you’re a defeated presidential candidate, a voter who got outvoted or an unsuccessful bidder for a job, a lover or a title, you’ve got to first process the pain before you can put your loss behind you.
“‘Grief is cathartic,’ said Joseph Mancusi, president of the Center for Organizational Excellence, a consulting firm in Sterling that helps businesses handle teamwork, leadership, stress management and other issues. ‘You need to feel down and get it out of your system.'”
Colleen Hacker, another grief expert quoted by Huget, recommends that losers (including, presumably, the Kerry folk), cultivate hardiness, a “personality trait that helps people buffer against adverse events, and resilience, the ability to successfully adapt and maintain a relatively stable and healthy ability to function, physically and psychologically, even in the face of loss, stress, difficulty or trauma.”
And here’s yet more counsel from Huget:
“Construct an optimistic world in which you can draw on a number of these things you’ve worked on when something bad happens again.”
Given the current propensity of the Kerry crowd to describe the 52 percent of Americans who voted for Bush as ignorant, racist, murderous, homophobic boobs–guaranteeing that “something bad” could well “happen again” the next time the Dems put up a candidate–this may be the most practical piece of advice in the entire article.
And for those few Post readers who happened to back the president, Huget offers this mental-health tip from Polly Post of the Emily Post Institute:
“Don’t gloat. That’s not constructive.”
We’ll try our best.