Relationship Happiness

Toxic Trash Talk Destroys Love

Mon, 22 Aug 11
Toxic Trash Talk Destroys Love

“Staff were abuzz after your presentation on Thursday and are still talking about your 5 features of healthy relationships. The only problem is Ian hasn’t stopped singing 60’s hits and wants a karaoke machine installed in the staff room!!!”

Excerpt from a principal’s thank you email.  

I began the session with a Turtles song, ‘Imagine you and me, and me and you…da da da da dee dee dee dee…the only one for me is you, and you for me, so happy together!’

I had the lyrics on the big screen and many of the staff began to sing. Ian, Head of Primary, pretty well took centre stage, the rest of the staff laughing as we enjoyed the moment.

By way of contrast, I played another song showing how relationships often deteriorate. Once again at full volume and with the lyrics on the screen The Righteous Brothers crooned ‘You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’…oh oh that lovin’ feelin’…now it’s gone, gone, gone. Woa oh gone…’

Ian couldn’t contain himself and leapt to his feet.

In one of my five features I announced I was going to put some expletives on the screen. Hadn’t asked the Principal’s permission, but hoped he would be OK.

 ‘If you want to build healthy relationships these should be avoided at all costs,” I declared.

Expectation filled the room as I clicked the remote and revealed my ‘Toxic Trash Talk!’

First up was Criticism – critics are like tennis tournament lines people – all they ever do is shout ‘Fault’ or ‘Out’. They never applaud a good shot.

Second was Sarcasm – this is laughter with a sneer of condescension. Even when meant as a joke it usually wounds.

Number three is Cynicism – kind of ‘whatever’ or ‘it’s not going to happen’ or maybe a shrug or a sigh.

Expletive number four is Exaggeration – ‘You never’ or ‘You always’ are its native tongue. Comparison comes in as my number five – ‘You’re just like your father’ or ‘Why aren’t you like your sister’. They’re all destructive and can destroy something that was beautiful.

Condemnation is the most powerful verbal assassination around and puts people in prison for life – it often brings up past failures or mistakes and has an impact like an ancient curse.

I don’t know if Ian got his karaoke machine. But I bet he’s still singing.

Tags: Relationship Happiness. Building Marriage.