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Therapy When Life Sucks!  Individual & Couples Counselling

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    Verbal Vomit. Something Meds Can't Fix

    You know how it goes. He ticks you off so much that you begin spewing vomit. Not literally.

     

    Verbal vomit (I use to call it verbal diarrhea) happens fast, forceful and usually with little to no regret during and often after the whole incident. You get all winded up over something that your partner did that totally ticks you off, that you turn around and you let 'em have it. You bring up everything in the past, everything that is going on now, and predictions for the future. Maybe something like this: "Why the heck did you get home so late without telling me!! Who do you think you are? Every friggin' weekend you go out and you care about nobody but your stupid self! The other day I asked you to simply put the laundry in the wash. You are too damn lazy to even do that! I have married a friggin' child! I am probably just wasting my breath because you will never grow up and be responsible!"

     

    This is a mild, watered-down version of Verbal Vomit.

     

    The frustration is valid. The individual points may actually be valid too. But this is a losing strategy of getting what you want.

     

    So, the winning strategy looks something like this:

    1. Use "I" statements. I need/I want/I feel. For example, "I felt hurt you not coming home tonight on time"

     

    2. Be Clear, Specific and Current. Be clear on what the issue is. Don't summarize it or group it into other behaviors. Talk about now, the current issue. Not what your partner has done over the past 35 years. Just today's stuff.

     

    3. Turn the complaint into a wish. For example, "I really wish when you say you will be home at a certain time, that you will be."

     

    We can go deeper into each of these 3 steps, but this is the basic start to turning the vomit into something a little more appealing to your partner. Remember, the end goal is to get what you want. Spewing crap all over your partner will likely not get you there. Using "I" statements, being current and turning your complaint into a wish will more likely turn a very bad moment into something more positive and productive.

     

    Go... give it a try.

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