Monday, 7 April 2008


i think this is the main problem of Jordanian people. don't ask me why but its like the wall everyone hides behind. what happened to simplicity, being clear and genuine, did it become so backward and makes you socially naive now?

i live in a community of uptight poeple, there is no way i can personally relax, i am uptight myself, i react to it by being part of it otherwise "i wont be good enough or knowledgable enough", family is the only place i feel like myself beside two girls i know, i lost faith in others and the fact that they could be genuine and not showing layers over layers of mind control and business crap.

anyways, im quoting this part from an article i found a person talking about uptightness:

People are uptight. Lots of them. And it’s bad. Bad for them, bad for their co-workers, families, and organizations. Uptight people create uptight policies. Uptight policies stifle creativity, happiness, and good, healthy relationships. it appears as if large groups of reactionary, really uptight people have picked opposite sides on an unimportant issue and are fighting as if winning the fight (for either side) would make the world a substantially better place.

I feel the same way about all political correctness in general. It is a symptom of uptightness - it’s about being so afraid to make a social mistake that we have to couch ideas in the most blandly incomprehensible way possible.

what is uptightness, anyway:

Aside from not being a noun, which is how I used it in the title, “uptightness” is not hard to define. Uptight behavior is expending more energy on a cause than can be justified by the best possible outcome of the effort, usually motivated by insecurity of some sort. In other words, it is treating a trivial issue as if it were paramount, not because you have a substantial, measurable interest in the outcome, but because the issue plays on your particular weaknesses as a person.

and here is an illustration of uptightness in a greeting card:

"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.”


Qwaider قويدر said...

Uptightness is not all that bad. It's the way people protect themselves. It's the last line of defense. People are afraid to let their guard down for very good reasons, they don't want to be exploited by someone.
It all stems from trust, and how it became a rare commodity in this day and age. So people opted for selective uptightness. They would be open, relaxed and completely accepting in very limited social ambiance and totally reserved outside it. Frankly, and out of personal experiences, I think it's all warranted.
It's way better to hear some guy say "she's uptight" than hearing the same person say "she was an animal last night". Once the uptightness is gone, there's no more intrigue, there's nothing to look for.

But I admit, there is such a thing as TOO uptight, but the good side of that is that I think people suffering from it die early due to lack of flow of blood to their hearts! :)

Tala said...

i know we use it to protect ourselves, but its like using as much bulky terminologies when you just can simply say it and people act like they should be admired for being complex and "Muthaqqafeen".

i dont have to include a very specific long and complex description of what i exactly mean so you wont get me wrong and make myself clear that i respect differences. implicitly it should be there from home education and if we didnt agree, shu ya3ni, it should be fine. bil3aks, different core views should be like music because it makes you unique and not vulnerable.

what if no one believed in my beliefs, is this part of my weakness to fight visciously for my thoughts, while i respect your opinion but i want to feel that i am right, is that it?

Qwaider قويدر said...

:) would you believe me if I said that I didn't get what you're trying to tell me in your comment :D?
Can I ask you to clarify a little bit? (please)

Tala said...

sure, i will try my best :)

what i mean by uptight society is: "if i didnt use big words and sound very educated, you wont take my explaination seriously" same goes for our society when a place becomes overpriced with less value but the sales goes up you dont know how.

same for educated people and intellectuals, they think when they become more educated with higher degrees, their choice of word should become more complex, the type of litterature they read becomes a pointer of their level of understanding, when we become more liberal, new words just pop from nowhere and certain social terms become a necessary prologue for a discussion to hold.

at the end of the day, where does all this overhead take us? are we making better lives?? no, we are losing the humane factor for trivial matters and building walls with more specialisations.

but why now? its a natural consequence to protect ourselves among the amount of openess because the choices are too wide and we have to make choices, and we have to protect the bases of those choices thats why we cover our thoughts very well because you dont want others to shake your grounds and protect yourself in the jungle land of thoughts.

Ammar said...

I'm not a great fan of stereotypes but they do exist, we're uptight..mazboot, it's a collective charectaristic we learn as we go along in society, and that's partly because of the mixed identity we all share, we're modern and liberal but we're also conservative, those three corners of our identity alternate and they take dominence depending on the situation we're facing, the "conservative" part is one mostly forced by society, we go to co-ed schools, swim in co-ed swimming pools but when we go out, we can't stay later than 8 because we're not the kind of people who stay out all night!

Uptightness is a phenomenon, we do it because everyone does it, and if we don't we'll be different, and different isn't as comfortable!

Tala said...


if we consider the society to be liberal(which is somehow not true, enshallah we would truly become one), then being conservative shouldnt be an issue, and being conservative doesnt mean less modern, we are not too free, but there is freedom, im not saying that uptight stands for no flexibility, it has more to underlying social tension when you talk to someone one on one level which gives an exaggeration effect in behaviour to fight to be right among variety. and i think its consequence is wanting to show others the attitude of "i know what i am talking about using big language"

Ammar said...

Yes I agree with what yr saying but our society is mixed in terms of backgrounds and that's why we have a bit of liberalism and a bit of conservatism in each of us.

Now, I was actually on a roll a while ago but the browser froze and I had to retype what I said again, but to make a long story short, we're all a bunch of fakes in varying degrees, we play roles opposite each other, and we use any means to assirt our suprimacy, that's why you're seeing PhD holders mushrooming all around like there's no tomorrow, we seek any means of status, it doesn't matter what you know, as long as you have a proof of your knowledge, therefore your status is higher than others! we won't allow anyone to have a higher intellectual status, whether this is acheived by claiming the Champs Des Elysees is nicer in winter, or by debating the effects of global warming on falafel!

Tala said...

you put it nicely Ammar, mushrooming PhDs eh? i didnt know to laugh or cry. if only people put their heads to constructively do something instead of "yallah innatif ba3ad"

No_Angel said...

I am not sure that uptight is the term you wanna use here...uptight to me means just overtly conservative.
maybe elitist, or pompous is what you wanted to express.
That also plays into our bipolar ideology of claiming to be liberal and conservative, eastern and western, intellectual and street smart all in the same life because we have to be better than everyone ON ALL FRONTS !
There is no loyalty to an ideal, the only loyalty is to advance your status on all fronts hence the pretentious population. now thats not a jordan only phenomena but it is nauseatingly visible when interacting with the simplest of ppl in jordan

Devil's Mind said...

I agree with No_Angel, "uptightness" is not the word you want to use here.

The Babylon dictionary defines "uptightness": n. nervousness, tenseness
Merriam-Webster adds: rigidly conventional

First of all, uptightness != political correctness!!

But what trues amazes me is that Jordanians are no-way politically correct... I would say, 90% probably don't even know what the word means!

Tala, tell me, when was the last time Jordanians (as the majority) were too sensitive to other people's ethnic or religious beliefs?! When was the last time Jordanians (as the majority) were too conscientious as not to offend homosexuals?! When was the last time Jordanians (as the majority) were too conscientious as not to offend polytheists or pagans?!

The greetings card example shows many things, none of which is typical "uptight" behavior.

It includes: Precision, political correctness, lawyers-like language, liability evasion, modesty, elaborateness.

In short, I would doubt any significant number of Jordanians would right anything with a relation to the greetings card example you provided!!

I think your broad and non-specified use of the term uptightness would create an explosion of the possibilities with which this entry can be interpreted. So maybe the uptightness that you discredit(*) is useful when stating your opinion in such a way that it can't be misinterpreted.

(*): You said: "at the end of the day, where does all this overhead take us? are we making better lives??"

This so maybe the overhead of being precise when you describe what you wish to say, would relieve further discussion, and hence isn't such a bad overhead after all!

Tala said...


in the light of what you are saying, based on this guys text, here its not meant to be uptight as overtly conservative (adhering to traditional methods or views) it means uptight as a global trend in dealing with our indentities (as if that issue is sorted out already) among others' identities and it applies to all eastern, western, liberal, conservative, intellectual and street smarts. its like aknowledging the rest, but adding a header file so you wont fall into social mistakes which doesnt really do much except showing others where you stand and how to read your statements or answer questions like "on what camp of thought are you?". so it starts with marking lines infront of your stand so people wont cross them, those headers create problems themselves because the definitions of those punchlines are never clear enough in practice, actually they are very very unreal, people are no longer frank enough, out of phase and wont get passed explaining terms, the bottom line of it is hidden tension and nervousness that is very well covered up.

who is not nervous in Jordan for example?

bipolar identity, status suprimacy, changing ideologies week in week out, thats all true.

Tala said...


i explained uptightness again in the previous comment, uptightness in that context is a symptom of political correctness, political correctness is (political), to grant people their rights but not to be carried into social interaction. when i deal with someone infront of me, i shouldnt see the PhD holder who is liberal and environmentally conscious and socially responsible etc etc, i dont care to know what he thinks, i see what he does and if he is so i will know, i dont need to read it. if we focus on how to apply those concepts in our lives we will get there, but talking about idealy without doing is hypocrisy, in reality people are no saints. those issues used to surface when you are in the process of doing something and you disagreed in principle so you explain the bases you determined that things need to go this way and not the other. but are no way to precede in normal cases which is NOT happening these days, everything is referenced to difference and "lets focus on the problem and not the solution attitude"

this Precise, politically correct, lawyers-like, elaborative card aims to say "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year"! thats all. as simple as this. in my opinion this is unecessary bulk. plus if someone sent me this card, i would negate everything that is said in it and say that this sender has issues.

now you wanna talk about political correctness in Jordan, i'll tell you whats with it.

there is a pie. everyone is focusing on when he is gonna get his piece and cares less about others. "ANA Syndrome" if you want gay rights, women rights, religious freedom, you have to fight for everything else to be set straight. all go parallel and in balance otherwise each is shouting when no one is really listening.

Devil's Mind said...

I get the point you are trying to express, although your choice of words is somewhat misleading. But all-in-all, I agree...