Healthy retorts

by Rod Smith

The Mercury – Monday / Healthy Retorts…..

Healthy retorts to unhealthy prompts. These are not direct quotations. They encapsulate what I have heard from healthy people:

– No, I do not feel as anxious as you do about this – it’s not helpful if we are both immobilized. (Wife to husband over a business failure.)

– This is a conversation it seems you need to have without me – your adult sons and daughters want time alone with you. I understand completely. (Man to his wife in a second marriage.)

– Your accomplishments at school are yours. When you are doing well I will not take the credit. When you are doing poorly I will not feel as if I am to blame. You already have everything you need (from me) to be a superior student. What do you need to change about your work habits? Start there. No, I will not speak to your teacher. You are perfectly capable of doing that for yourself. Your teacher is not responsible for your performance – you are. (Parent to son of 15.)

– I am very uncomfortable speaking about people who are not present unless you are full of praise for them. Gossip is not at all good for friendships. (Friend to friend.)

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