Healthcare Training Institute - Quality Education since 1979
CE for Psychologist, Social Worker, Counselor, & MFT!!
In the last section, we discussed we discussed Coping Through Healthy Self-Talk. This included preparing for confrontation, coping with confrontation and coping in retrospect.
In this section, we will discuss the cognitive behavior therapy methods for Defusing Zingers. These Methods for Defusing Zingers will include: empathizing, asking questions and paraphrasing.
Chad, age 24 and Crystal, age 24, had been living together for a year and a half. Chad stated to me, "The other day, I was teasing Crystal about something she had said. I could sense a little bit of tension from her, but I didn’t think anything of it. I let it go. A few hours later, she said to me, ‘You’re a damn liar, Chad!’ It was like 3 hours later and she was still mad! Hell, I wasn’t even being serious about teasing, and that just came out of nowhere! I was insulted!"
I stated to Chad, "As you are experiencing, when people are very close, they know just what will hurt the other the most. These are called zingers. Going for the jugular is the specialty of intimates who thrive on pushing the other’s buttons. However, a zinger can also be the response of a partner whose jugular has been tapped. If you’ve pushed a partner’s hot buttons (and sometimes you don’t even know you’ve done it), expect an awful zinger back. Zingers about in conflict between intimates. One harsh phrase, one hot button pushed, can wipe out months of niceness."
Chad asked, "I feel hurt sometimes just by looks she gives me…it’s kind of crazy how you can be hurt when someone isn’t even saying anything." I stated to Chad, "These are silent zingers, and they can corrode a relationship even faster than verbal ones. There are two types of silent zingers, contempt and disgust."
I further explained to Chad, "The facial display of contempt is caused by muscles that pull the mouth to one side while you roll your eyes. The body language of contempt is shown when your partner studies her nails or picks lint from her jacket while she says she’s listening. Likewise, disgust is signaled by a sneer or curled lip, as if your partner smelled or tasted something bad. There are three ways to defuse these zingers, empathizing, asking questions and paraphrasing."
♦ #2 Asking Questions
Do you have clients who use zingers with each other? Could they benefit from hearing this section?
In the next section, we will discuss Passive responses to anger. These will include getting information, acknowledgement and withdrawal.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References: