MENTAL HEALTH TIP - Ask a Question to Destroy Your Enemies

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: I have said this in the description of another video, but it bears repeating. All of these tips are Band-Aids on a wound that requires surgery. However, my hope is that they will help stop the "blood loss" until you can address those deeper issues.

What does the title of this video mean? I'd be happy to explain.

Many times when you are faced with someone who is being "critical" of you, you might notice two things: (1) their "criticisms" are really just insults, and (2) their comments are generalized. A prime example of this would be the eternally juvenile, "You suck!"

Sometimes they might be a little more targeted. In my case, someone might say, "You are a bad father." End of sentence. Full stop. Period.

Personally, I know myself well enough and have good enough self-esteem to reject such a statement outright. I know I'm not a perfect dad, but I also know I always do my best, and if my best won't do, then I see what I can do to do BETTER.

The flip side of this criticism is if someone says, "You're not 'Father of the Year,' so stop acting like it." This is meant to imply I'm arrogant enough to sing praises of myself, even if all I did is something that a father is SUPPOSED to do anyway. (Think of Chris Rock's "I take care o' my kids" bit.)

However, once again this critic is defeated because I know the LAST adjective anyone should use to describe me is "arrogant." I don't act like "Father of the Year." Even if I won such an award, I STILL wouldn't act like that. Therefore, I dismiss their comment.

But let's say I couldn't. Let's say they utter those words, and they really start to burrow into me, making a beeline for the center of my soul. No matter how hard I try, I can't just dismiss their comment.

If I can't stop the initial comment from bugging me, there is at least a way where I can stop it in its tracks: I can ask a question.

Why is this such an effective method? Because usually the person who threw the "criticism" at you was just grasping at straws, putting any negative comment out there they could think of in an effort to hurt you. That kind of random flailing for insults usually results in one thing: the insult they choose is baseless and unreal.

Asking a question exposes the baseless nature of their insult. It lets them know that YOU are aware their insult means nothing. There is no evidence behind it. It's nonsense.

How would the question asking work in practice? Well, let's go back to the person who says I am a bad father. All I have to do is ask a one-word, monosyllabic question: "How?" And guess what? They change the subject.

In the case of the "Father of the Year" comment, I'd have to say something a little more in depth like, "How do I act like 'Father of the Year?' Examples, please." Again, the response will be SILENCE.

It's amazing, isn't it? Someone could go on a tirade for five minutes, belittling you and insulting you and pointing out every flaw you have...and all you have to do to make their effort a complete waste of time is say, "How?"

Granted, you might ask that question, and then the person has an answer! However, there are ways to deal with that too, but that is for another video.

For now, watch and enjoy step #1 of this process.

~~~Steve Grogan

  1. Home
  2. Geek Wing Chun Blog - Main