"You have once again entered… The world of survival horror." – Resident Evil
If you've already read the previous, accompanying article to this one, welcome back. If not, let's catch you up to speed. Zombies are not alive, not dead, bloodthirsty creatures with severe anger issues. They look to tear down anyone in their path, accountability nowhere in sight. Some real-life humans could be, and probably have been, described as the walking dead; bloodthirsty creatures with severe anger issues who look to tear down anyone in their path, accountability nowhere in sight.
Zombieland follows the cowardly Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), as he navigates his way through the United States of Zombieland. Flooded with ravenous, flesh-eating freaks, a few questionable survivors, and a ton of laughs in between, Columbus explains how he has survived this long on his own. He strictly follows the rules. His rules.
RULE #18 | LIMBER UP
This rule lines up right behind Rule #1 from The Metaphors In 'Zombieland' [Part I]. To refresh your memory, Rule #1 is Cardio. Cardio wards off stress. Toxic people (zombies) cause stress. Ipso facto, keeping in shape is a great way to deter the stress caused by these types of people, or at least minimalize it. Limbering up is a precursor to cardio. Staying loose will help ensure you don't experience any strain while working out. Keeping limber and practicing cardio are both great on their own, but exponentially better together. This is the same in a metaphorical sense. As I said, keeping in shape is a great way to deal with stress. However, you don't want to turn into an uptight gym freak (that's the opposite of what we're going for here). Not to mention, you can't necessarily run to the gym every time some toxic douche bag decides they want to take you down a notch. So, aside from stretching, a great practice is limbering up your mind. Practice meditation, yoga, breathing exercises- whatever keeps you even-tempered and ready to be your best self. When you combine mindful practices with exercise, dealing with stressful people becomes easy. You'll likely start to pity them. You have to keep in mind people aren't just born assholes. Perceptions and personal circumstances have a lot to do with why people are the way they are. But at the end of the day, we all have a choice. Limber up before you make yours.
RULE #22 | WHEN IN DOUBT KNOW YOUR WAY OUT
This one is simple enough. While Columbus is checking for backdoors, you should be checking your instinct. Whether it be at work, home, class, whatever, If you're regularly in situations where you have to deal with toxic people, but you can avoid them, check your gut instinct. If you're doubtful that the potential experience you're about to have is going to be a positive one, what's the point of being there? As the famous author of 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' says, "If it ain't fun, don't do it."I think the biggest, or maybe easiest, targets for toxic people to hit are people pleasers. If you're reading this, and you're a people pleaser, I'm telling you straight up, you're allowed to say no. You're allowed to cancel plans you've made. You're allowed to ignore your phone. You're allowed to decline doing things without giving a reason, especially if those things entail a bunch of stress, sans fun. You are in control of your own life. Remember that and live by it. And for those situations you can't avoid, know your way out. Compromise. If it's work, interact with the person(s) as little as acceptably possible. If it's social, make an appearance, stay an hour or two, and leave. It's your life. Make it a good one.