How to respond when someone tells you that there is something wrong with you?

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Have you been recently diagnosed with “something’s wrong with you”? Diagnosed by your spouse, friends, co-workers, family members…

No one likes to hear that. It can be annoying and frustrating. It can really seed that doubt in you what if in fact there is might be something wrong with you.

First of all, let’s clarify that there is no official disease under the name “there is something wrong with you.” Also, whoever gave you that diagnosis, unless they’re licensed mental health care practitioners, their diagnosis has no weight.

Now that we got that out of the way, I can suggest a few routes you can take here.

1. If that happened at work or in some public setting, somebody tells you that there is something wrong with you, draw the attention of other people. Don’t yell. Don’t laugh. Don’t argue. Don’t mock. Stay calm and control your emotions. Don’t smile. You must look serious when you do this. Invite other people into this situation. Simply state the fact, for example, “John or Carrie or Mary believes that there is something wrong with me. Please tell me if there is really something wrong with me. Am I the only one that doesn’t see it?”

Now, you have created a very uncomfortable situation for the person that made that statement. And other people that you have got involved, have to agree or disagree with that statement. Meaning, they have to pick a side: yours or the other person’s. Most people want to be nice, so they naturally will try to support you here. They will say, “No. No. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are a good person.” Now, you have created division. Now, the person that attacked you has to fight against not just you but a whole group of people. And now, they are met with collective judgment. They’re not likely to ever repeat that statement again.

2. Next possible route you can take is actually pretty universal. You can use it anywhere with anybody whenever someone makes this statement. Again, don’t argue, don’t yell, don’t laugh. Be serious and be polite. Ask this person to clarify it, “Please explain yourself. What exactly do you mean by saying that? What exactly is wrong with me? Can you explain it please?”

Now, this person has to stop and analyze their statement. Possibly, they will understand the ridiculousness of it. They may realize that they have no real explanation for their statement. No matter what they say now will make them look like a jerk or stupid. No one likes to look bad. They are not likely to repeat this statement again.

3. The third route is especially good to use within your family, with your spouse or parents. Whenever they make this statement, again, don’t laugh, don’t yell, don’t argue. Agree. Your face must look very serious. Stay calm and control your emotions. Agree with their statement. Node your head and say, “You’re right. I’ve always felt that there is something wrong with me. I’m glad that you notice that. Please help me. What do you think I should do about it? How can I fix it? Maybe you can help me find the right therapist and schedule an appointment? And please, will you go to the appointment with me? I need your support.”

They have pointed out and acknowledged the problem, which in reality may not even exist, but they stated that there is a problem. You asked for help, and, now, it is their responsibility to help you.

I wouldn’t let it go so easily. For a few following days, I’d ask them, “Have you found a therapist? Have you scheduled an appointment?” And if they haven’t done so (most likely they haven’t), you blame them for not wanting to help you, you blame them for not caring enough, for not loving you enough.

Be careful when using this strategy because it can ruin your relationship for good. But, if you are, hopefully, ONLY TEMPORARILY, stuck in a toxic relationship, then it’s a good weapon to use.

Please remember, there is something wrong (at least a little something) wrong with all of us, but it doesn’t make us any less special.

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