The woman in distress got lucky. Her friend is going to be coldly objective in helping her GF. That's the only kind of real friend their is.
"OK you are freaking out. I understand. I have been in similar situations with Richard. Here's what we learned to do with our therapist who said this was the way you make pretty much all decisions in life.
STEP A: Highlight the emotional component of the problem. Get it on the table, first. Write it down.
This is huge and few people ever do it...and continue to screw up their life over and over again...
"What's he been doing that's causing you so much pain? Or is it you, the gardener or the kids? I mean he's a man, but he's not totally evil."
"You don't know the half of it. Every Saturday night I come home from work. I put in a 12-hour shift at the hospital so all I want to do is shower and go to sleep. He wants dinner. He just SITS there and does nothing but work on his stupid computer. It drives me nuts. You'd think he could at least cut up the fruit or shuck the corn or cook the steak or SOMETHING."
The GF writes down the complaint then realizes an instant problem.
"I thought you told me you didn't like him in the kitchen when you cook. He just gets in the way."
"Well, he does. He is so slow. It drives you crazy. He just DOES NOTHING."
"So you really don't want him to help shuck the corn or cook the steak. You really want him to stay out of the kitchen. What you are really angry about is that you are whipped and then he wants dinner, maybe he feels entitled. But you aren't looking for help."
The Distressed Woman is suspicious. She didn't realize that she didn't really want help that this was about something else.
"That's why we write this stuff down. It helps cut through all the gunk of emotions.
STEP B: For this single piece of the picture, what is being experienced on the opposite side of the coin? (In this case, the husband.)
"And what does he do all day Saturday?"
"He's home with the kids on Saturday while I work."
STEP C: Don't dwell on the opposite side of this factor. Just get it on the table and get back to dealing with the emotion as nothing constructive or rational can occur when someone is flooded with raw emotions.
"And what happens typically?"
"I just boil inside and I usually blow up sometime between walking in the door and seeing him with a nice relaxed smile to watching him eat dinner without so much as a 'thank you' for cooking after a 12-hour day. Can you imagine!??!!?"
"Yes....I get the picture. The kids are sitting playing next to him, they're having fun. That's got to be irritating to see when you have difficulties with them all week. He smiles at you. He should really what...? I suppose he should give you the evil eye or yell at you or look at you with a blank stare or maybe simply dance over to you at the door and say, "Hello Distressed Woman, how can I help you today?" I'm kidding. Does this kind of relaxed smile with the expectation of dinner happen the rest of the week?"
Sarcasm cuts through gunk. You can't really use it in your own relationship but with a friend it can help cause a person to realize that they are upset walking in the door and NO MATTER WHAT the response is the person will simply be more upset that there world isn't perfect.
STEP D: Find out how pervasive (wide) the problem is...How often...how much, etc.
The Other Side? Deal with MY Side....: Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |