MISERY POKER

Who's the Most Stressed?

A new Wall Street Journal column that began today takes on a new topic: complaining to the ones you love. While the markets are in meltdown and the world stage is on high alert, the business paper of record is exploring how stress has become our default emotion—to the point that it’s become a competitive game to one-up each other. “Some say the pressure may be turning us into narcissists: To protect ourselves, we push others away,” writes Elizabeth Bernstein. Relationships are turning into an elaborate game of misery poker and “as times get tougher, complaining is starting to look more like a blood sport than a coping mechanism.” A few offered solutions to counterproductive temper tantrums are taking a break, using positive terms, or, if all else fails, just being quiet.