One variety proves to be particularly common among online commenters.
We all have some source of stress in our lives. What sets us apart, though, is how we cope with it.
To literally illustrate this, Japanese Twitter user @Shiina_YU drew pictures of three different ways people react to stress, which quickly attracted attention on the Japanese Internet.
アキレス県庁前 (@Shiina_YU) September 27, 2016
The first class is what @Shiina_YU calls the Tube Type personality. With stress represented as spherical clumps of negative emotion, the Tube Type lets them flow quickly and freely, with the metaphor being that this type of person doesn’t suppress his feelings, readily lets his anger or sadness show, and as a result has relatively little lingering emotional distress.
The second classification is the Sieve Type, illustrated as a loosely woven basket. @Shiina_YU describes members of this set as the most mature, with smaller peaks and valleys to their mood. While the size of the gaps may vary by individual, the overall effect is that Sieve Types allow their emotions to run their course, although in a more measured way than Tube Types.
Finally, the third group is the Box Type. Unlike the Tube and Sieve classes, stress piles up continuously for members of this group, whose members struggle to find ways to get rid of such feelings but try not to show their dilemma. Eventually, the box becomes completely full and Box Types have to scoop out those stress balls or simply turn the box over and dump everything, which manifests as sudden, extreme outbursts after a too-lengthy lengthy period of quietly putting up with unpleasant things.
This being Japan, a country where “putting up with unpleasant things” is often lauded as a sign of a proper, upstanding member of society, a number of online commenters chimed in to identify themselves as box types.
“I’m totally a box type.”
“Box Type here. I make it a point to periodically go to karaoke by myself to blow off steam.”
“You don’t feel any stress, for a while, after an emotional blowup, but it causes problems for the people around you.”
“I think it’s not just stress that piles up in the box, but also a lot of important memories.”
“Tube Types can’t understand Box Types.”
@Shiina_YU also identifies as a box type, while wistfully adding “I really wish I were a Tube Type. Their lives are fun.” That might not be an entirely accurate assessment, though. Leaving your anger or sorrow completely unchecked can be a sign of a lack of empathy for others. It can also lead to unnecessary lashing out that simply pushes those unhappy feeling onto the people you have the closest contact with, regardless of whether or not they’re to blame for your problems, powering a cycle of unhappiness that usually manages to work its way back around to Tube Types.
Perhaps the soundest bit of advice came from Twitter user @rooransan.
コツメローラン (@rooransan) September 29, 2016
“Why not make a couple of holes in the bottom of the box?” he offered , which sounds like a great plan, and the presence of a smiling stuffed animal otter makes his suggestion all the more convincing.