Angry Birds Words 1: The Game

Dealing with angry people is alternately scary, risky, unpredictable and frustrating. So frustrating, In fact, it reminds me of the Angry Birds video game. In September 2010, IGN named Angry Birds as the fourth best iPhone game of all time.

I don’t like frustration and cannot explain the popularity of this ingenious game. Admittedly, I’m not a gamer. Most of you probably already know about it and many probably play it.

For the few who don’t, this is the object: players use a crude slingshot to launch angry birds at pigs who are hiding in a field. It reminds me a little of the Three Little Pigs, except that there’s no wolf and no one huffing and puffing. Instead there are grumbling and squawking birds bombarding the pig houses. The birds line up behind the slingshot ready to sacrifice their lives to kill the green pigs. So ready, in fact, that they are jumping and whirling and screaming in anticipation of the kill.

I see a metaphor here. I’m not sure whether I identify more with the birds or the pigs. I initially felt sorry for the pigs, until I found out that they had stolen the birds’ eggs. Then I sided with the wingless projectiles as they loudly catapulted through the sky kamikaze style. Of course, just as I got the trajectory down and increased my slingshot skill, it got harder. Eventually, I couldn’t sustain enough investment in either side to keep playing when the frustration mounted after each level completed.

That’s it. I quit.

I’ve also given up playing any people gamesespecially fighting.

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone—even alcohol. ~ Alcoholics Anonymous 2011, p 84

I’m not implying there’s anything wrong with playing games—electronic ones. But there’s something wrong with my playing games with people. I see fighting as a game in which the ‘winner’ loses all. I cannot afford to fight anymore. It takes me places I don’t want to go and it steals my serenity. Fighting is for the fearful. No one is stealing my eggs and since I got sober, hardly anyone bombards my RV with their grumbling and squawking.

Angry Birds words–just not worth it to me any more.

PS: In order to stop playing the people games, especially with angry addicts, we need some strategies. This is the first in a series of dealing with angry people.


Chapter 15 Angry Birds Series