How to Harness Your Crankiness

Do not let your Tsuris get the best of you.

Our crankiness emerges first when we are young, in the most obvious ways. You might see a child wailing while waiting for breakfast and immediately identify them as cranky. However, as we get older, our crankiness appears in a different manner. We may show it in a passive-aggressive fashion, acting out in a way that puts loved ones in the path of harm. In A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness: The CrankaTsuris Method, Steven Joseph provides a refreshing, new perspective on dealing with crankiness.

As the author of the children’s book The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris, Joseph builds upon that world of dinosaurs and “CrankaTsuris” in this humorous self-help style of writing. To set the scene, he explains how we inherited certain traits from the TyrantoCrankaTsuris and the TyrantoKvetchaTsuris; when those two dinosaurs got married, they cranked and kvetched until they evolved into humans. He uses this fun backstory to illustrate how when we get a little cranky and kvetchy, we need to remember how all the dinosaurs became extinct when those two would not stop. Ultimately, finding the right amount of crank and kvetch is key to living happily ever after.

Joseph uses a variety of examples to help the reader identify “tsuris” in their own lives. “Tsuris” is the Yiddish word for problems, those which change your life and bring on an unfortunate abundance of suffering. It is the kind of problem that you cannot help but share with the rest of the world, perhaps to take part of the burden off yourself. Additionally, Joseph uses this word to describe the more common daily inconveniences which always seem to add up at the worst times. For a person with a low threshold of stress, those inconveniences can quickly make a person feel overwhelmed. To combat these feelings before they build the potential to hurt loved ones, he suggests the use of a more constructive outlet.

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Joseph narrates his experiences raising his daughter Vita to demonstrate the various success stories of what he coins “The CrankaTsuris Method”. Throughout the many times she outpoured her CrankaTsuris, he admits how this was often followed with CrankaTsuris retaliation. While it may be messy in the moment, he assures readers that when done correctly, it can be the most natural, healthy, and rewarding form of expression.

When you feel like acting out your crankiness, Joseph recommends wrapping up all those feelings into a CrankaTsuris. Rather than attacking or putting down a family member, he suggests letting out a CrankaTsuris until you feel cleansed. He promises that you will know you have reached this point when everyone laughs about it. To get there, Joseph identifies how finding your inner CrankaTsuris is a crucial step of The CrankaTsuris Method. By perceiving crankiness as a physical three-dimensional object inside of us, he instructs how we must develop “effective crankiness”. This organized CrankaTsuris is best described as a performance of emotions.

Passed down from the TyrantoCrankaTsuris and the TyrantoKvetchaTsuris, Joseph reassures readers that crankiness is part of our true nature, just waiting to be safely released. Fine your copy on Amazon now.

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