In the movie “As good as it gets,” it was very stressful for Melvin as his life is interrupted. He has an Obsessive-Compulsive complex that makes it very difficult for him to accept and deal with change. Throughout the movie, he is forced to change little by little so that in the end he has learned how to cope with his ailment and control his actions.
Using the appraisal process, Melvin saw anything different to him and his normal actions as a threat to his well-being. An example might be his annoying neighbor who was gay and would not leave him alone or the dirt on his hands after handing the dog. Threatening they may be, but harmful is what gave him the odd and ‘crazy’ actions. Locking the locks 3 times and flicking the lights 5 does gives no benefit but he does it to calm himself and to reassure himself that these items work and will work when he needs them to. He eliminated the harm, not that those items not could cause him, but the harm that might be caused if those items failed. He was protecting himself from harm but always conscientious of the harm that surrounded him.
Melvin’s life was so challenging that it was extremely difficult for him to proceed every day. Leaving the house meant having to deal with the unpredictable. Other people just happened to be one of his worst enemies. He had no control over what they did and how they did it. The one-day Carroll missed work he couldn’t get anything right. He couldn’t eat breakfast; he couldn’t even stay in the restaurant. Her missing work threw his whole day off schedule. His life was a challenge so obviously it was stressful. Imminent is one of the least problems he had. Life is imminent and his life was his OCD. He couldn’t escape the reality that he perceived. He couldn’t just stop what he was doing because it was normal for him to act on his compulsions. The stressful life style he lived was his choice but he could not escape with out changing.
Melvin swayed between emotion and problems focused coping styles. When he had his outbursts in the restaurant, it was emotional coping; but when he was able to find a way to form an attachment to Verdell, the dog, he mainly used his problem-focused coping style. With Verdell, he didn’t know how to act around another person, yet alone a dog. Melvin had to respect Verdell and pay attention to Verdell’s needs. When it came to feeding, Melvin found Verdell liked bacon. Melvin decided to being ordering bacon at the restaurant to bring home to Verdell because then he could get Verdell to do whatever Melvin needed him to do. Melvin was able to cope with another living thing in his house because he found a way to incorporate it into his life.
Another stress appraisal could be found in the TV show “Full House.” As I was watching the episode today, DJ, the older girl around 15-16 years of age, was asking for her own room. She had been living with her younger sister Stephanie for the past 5 years. The rest of the family decided this was a good idea and wanted the youngest sister, Michelle, to move in with Stephanie. Michelle didn’t want to. She wanted her own room. Stephanie took this very hard and decided she would move into the bathroom.
This is where the stress came in. Their father told DJ that if Stephanie and Michelle both didn’t agree to the living arrangements, no moves would be taking place. DJ’s appraisal began taking place in her own mind. The threat was from both of her sisters. They both controlled what she wanted and he she was about to lose. Harm wasn’t really there but she perceived this as an attack on her and got defensive. She saw a potential of harm in having to live with Stephanie. The challenge was having to convince two stubborn sisters to live together so she could reap the rewards. It’s not easy trying to convince one person to move in with another person when the first already has her own room. Finally, it was imminent in the fact that if she didn’t get it resolved right away, her chances of living without a roommate dwindled.
In the way she talked her way out of the situation, Problem-focused coping was her way of dealing with the situation. She kept a level head and just gave the positives of why both should live with the others.
The two situations that come to mind about my stress and me are finals and females. Finals are obviously imminent because they are next week. Finals offer a serious threat to my grades. If I do poorly, my grades could suffer drastically. The harmful portion of my stress may come from me. I will mentally beat myself up if I do poorly on the finals cause I know I have plenty of time to study for them and I feel confident in my knowledge of the material. The challenge comes from the fact that this is college and college is tough. If these finals weren’t a challenge I don’t think I would be stressing over next week. They are mostly comprised of material I should know but it is always the student vs. the teacher and the teacher has the advantage knowing the material.
The stress caused by females is quite different. More in an future imminent sense, I know one day I will have to properly court and date a female to eventually end up in a relationship. I know the challenge is making proper decisions in who I pick and then going ahead and impressing them. If I, for any reason, let this person in my life just pass on by, the challenge increases, causing more stress. Harm again would come from within if I knew I had made a mistake and screwed up my future. Carrying on my family name is important to me. I would be very upset with myself if I blew a chance and knew I would never get the opportunity.
I think the threat would be one of the biggest factors though. To me, the thought of going through the rest of my life without one person I could always turn to in any situation and know they love, respect, and cherish me for who I am, is frightening. Seeing couples happy gives me hope that one day I too will know that feeling and to not have that is a devastating thought. The threat of never getting the opportunity to love and be loved is quite looming. The only thing that keeps this from becoming an overbearing stress is the fact that the imminence is always moving along with my life. There is no set time in which the opportunity to fall in love with a female is not available.