All About Me

- posted by the Sous Blogger

I know maybe it seems like being the sous blogger is a cake job, but it’s a serious commitment, too. There’s more to it than a clever riposte and an occasional hahahahahaha. I try to wear the mantel lightly (and it’s a good color on me) but in actuality, I’m on-call around the clock, around the week, throughout the calendar, ready to assume the duties of the office of The Blogger. I have to appear to be loyal, and I have to perform reliably.

(Sometimes my role is more like a handler or a wild animal trainer. But, never mind. Let us speak no more of the Vicodin. . .)

This last week has been hard on him. What with the gall bladder, the maths and (apparently) the boobies, it’s been a little sparse here at G40. It falls to the sous blogger to become the Blog Content Provider.

So this is an update about what’s been on my mind recently.

About a year ago I got interested in the ideas of Terrence Real, and have been working to understand and use Relational Life Therapy in my work (and life). Most days I love my job, and it’s a pleasure to have some new skills.

In 1998 Terry wrote a book about depression in men called “I Don’t Want to Talk About It.” His work since then has been primarily couples’ counseling and relationship repair. He found that he kept running into a brick wall by working with men alone, and his two subsequent books are about marriage. (An aside: he included gay and straight couples in his manuscript, and his publisher made him take out the gays. He regrets that, and says he won’t do it again.) His work is very skill-based, and it moves people along more quickly than the old traditional models of couples’ therapy.

One part of the training I’m doing is to participate in a three-day couples’ skills workshop. I dragged Mr. Sous to that last summer. (Yes, it was a dream come true for him. There’s nothing better than being married to a psychologist.) We learned about the “five losing strategies” and then had to talk in our small group about our own losing strategy profile. In about three seconds Mr. Sous and I were able to identify each other’s top two losing strategies. Here’s where I insert the hahahahahahaha, I guess.

Terry reminds us over and over that they’re called losing strategies because they will NOT get you more of what you want. Here they are:

1. the need to be right. also referred to as self-righteous indignation, this is my own personal favorite. what if you really really are *right*? it doesn’t matter. it’s a losing strategy.

2. controlling your partner

3. unbridled self-expression. ranting. going on and on. dredging up crap from years earlier. it’s self-indulgent. it’s mean, it's boring. it’s a losing strategy.

4. withdrawal. sometimes obvious, like stomping out of the room and slamming the door, but also changing the subject, being silent, saying I Don’t Know over and over, and a zillion other things.

5. retaliation. terry thinks 95% of the violence in the world is because of retaliation, and i think he’s right. he calls it “offending from the victim position.” you bump me, i hit you. you rape my sister, i kill your brother. you bomb my building, i obliterate your nation. losing strategy.

His work is good, and his books are quite readable, if you like this stuff.


There. I’m very happy to have written this. It should give you something to chew on until Himself comes up for air.

- once again, this was posted by the Sous Blogger, who wonders if staying up too late would be considered a losing strategy.


Anonymous said...

I'd have to say that's a surprisingly coherent entry for 'late night'.


Scott H. said...

As for me, I am glad I stayed up past my strict 9PM bedtime to catch up on the internets. I believe this type of flexibility is a winning strategy, as not only do I get to suffer vicariously with Scott and the Maths, but I learn from the wit and scholarship of Sous Blogger. What did I learn? I mean, besides straightening out my underestimation of the duty and overestimation of the glory of the honored position of Sous Blogger... I have been perhaps guilty of losing strategy #3 (unbridled self-expression). Even now. And, goodnight.