Why Did You Say That?

On Sunday, I went to my client’s house to work. When I arrived his mom wasn’t feeling well and in turn used me as an emotional punching bag. She said very nasty mean things to me, such as ‘you have to be smarter, faster’, ‘you have to think ahead if you want to work here’, and ‘you can’t do that. Now dad’s going to have a fit!’.

When I was started with this client, the mom was very nice and kind to me. On Sunday, I saw a different side of her that I did not like. If she pulls any of that shit again, I will tell her, ‘you have no right to talk to me that way. I will be leaving because I’m not going to put up with this abuse.’ And that’s what it was… a verbal beatdown… verbal abuse… mental abuse… emotional abuse…


There are things you do not say to someone who is suffering from depression, suicidal ideation, or any mental illness in that case. A pretty obvious one is ‘you’. The word ‘you’ in a fight or any confrontation is a very negative toxic word. It tells the person you are in a fight with is that you do not cNot to mare about their feelings and everything is their fault. It confirms that they are no good at anything. However, you should use the CAREfrontation, which I’m trained in through Residence Assistant training and through graduate assistant training.   carefrontation

Carefrontation is where we care about the relationship than being right. It shows that you care about the person you are confronting. When utilized properly, you bring the person you are confronting in another room where it is just you two. It takes great courage, but in the end it will all be worth it. You’re heart will be able to go with the flow instead of acting on the fight or flight response and you’ll seem authentic in the end. Not to mention, the relationship will be stronger afterwards.

No one can avoid conflict, but you’ll be prepared to deal with it in a more heartfelt way. Steps to confront someone with the CAREfrontation model in mind,

  1. Make sure both of you have cooled down and ready to talk with a level head.
  2. Make sure you go to a neutral location where it is just you two and no one else in the room or around.
  3. Use the person’s name and make sure all parties know what the meeting in question is about.
  4. Use the word ‘I feel’, or ‘The team feels’, or ‘Others feel’. Always use concrete examples. The other party or parties might not even see or understand the impact of their actions or words.
  5. Afterwards, ask the other party or parties what they think. How did they perceive it?
  6. Come up with a solution together. Everyone will walk away feeling happy. If it was a team discussion, they will feel more apart of the team since everyone had each other’s back.


Being authentic is key. Being yourself is key. Don’t try to be anyone, but yourself since everyone else is taken.

My next post will be things not to say someone struggling with depression or suicide. It was inspired by Sunday’s beatdown from my client’s mom.



As always, kisses on the peace sign fingers and love…

XO Jenn


4 thoughts on “Why Did You Say That?

  1. Loving this style of conflict resolution. I do this with my 1st grade students so many times a day, but it’s interesting how it transfers to mediating conflict between adults. What’s your background in?


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