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"What's wrong with you?"

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  • "What's wrong with you?"

    A phrase with lots of judgement in it that I would almost put into the category of Bullying, "What's wrong with you?!?" - we should think about NEVER using it again! It is only a few short words, but it carries a significant amount of meaning. Have you used this phrase on someone in your lifetime? Have you used this phrase without stopping to consider the meaning of the words, the probing nature, what they infer?

    I heard someone used this phrase recently and I thought, what a strange, strange "question" it is indeed. Does this question infer shame, guilt, a sense of non-conformance?

    I have posted this question here and on Tumblr for your consideration. Any and all comments, thoughts and feedback are encouraged and welcome.

    ~

  • #2
    Re: "What's wrong with you?"

    Your statement regarding this question is very thought provoking. I agree with you completely. There certainly is an implied judgement in those words. I can not say that I would never use it again, but you have definitely make me stop and think.

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    • #3
      Re: "What's wrong with you?"

      "What's wrong with me?"
      That's easy: I'm not you and I'm not striving to be like you.

      The pronoun "you" being generic and directed at whoever asks such a question, not the original poster.

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      • #4
        Re: "What's wrong with you?"

        I've used it and will again.

        For example. You and a friend go to a bar following in a couple of cuties. Your friend makes a pass at one of them and publically is turned down. He takes it personally and leaves. You follow him out and find him slashing her tires. I would not hesitate to say "What's wrong with you?"

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        • #5
          Re: "What's wrong with you?"

          Similarly to Kouak,

          I visit a friend who is in the midst of personal strife. I find him pointing a loaded gun at himself. As I wrestle the gun away from him with tears in my eyes, I yell out the words: "What is wrong with you!?!"

          Context is everything.

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          • #6
            Re: "What's wrong with you?"

            Yes, this statement (along with many others) automatically puts the receiver of the message on the defensive, regardless of the context. For an excellent resource, check out Non-violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. I've found the process of learning and adopting NVC isn't easy, but it truly does help prevent the escalation of defensiveness and argumentation in the recipient. If you read it, please let me know what you think of it.

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            • #7
              Re: "What's wrong with you?"

              Not only context, but also culture. What is judgmental in your country may be supportive in another.

              The world don't move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you may not be right for some. It takes different strokes to move the world.

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              • #8
                "In thinking that there is something wrong to begin with" Kind of presumptuous, isn't it?

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                • #9
                  skinned_alive Thank you for the book reference. I will look it up and see if I can get a copy! (it is totally AMAZING that I can see this message two years later FOR THE FIRST TIME! ~ It is like time travel in a way!) ~ Centauri4

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                  • #10
                    never really listened to what the words say! thanks for bringing it to our attention. great advice.

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