Talking Respectfully with Others about the “Bad Apple” in the Family

Talking Respectfully with Others about the “Bad Apple” in the Family

Every family has one. That individual who might walk their own path, march to the beat of their own drum. Perhaps you don’t love their choices or behavior, but you still love them. So how you can you show that love, in outside conversations?

Studio 5 Relationship Coach Matt Townsend shares tips for talking respectfully with others about the “Bad Apple” in the family.

Check your motive for talking about the Bad Apple.

· Are you just commiserating? Be careful of commiserating, because all you become are a bunch of miserable people.

· Is it to help or to hurt?

· How, specifically, will your talk help?

· Is it working?

Act as if the Bad Apple is present.

· We usually talk differently about people when they are present than when they’re not. Respect is easier to show when they are around than not.

· Talk in a way so that the positive stuff can eventually make it back to the person.

· Look for the exception to the problem.

Talk to strengthen the Good Apples more than weakening the Bad Apple.

· It’s easier to help the healthy than fix the broken.

· Remember that one Bad Apple can ruin the entire barrel, so work on strengthening the Good Apples.

· Whatever person you focus your energy on will grow, so grow the innocent not the guilty!

· Empower each other to deal more effectively with the Bad Apple.

· Find a Good Applesauce recipe.

· Turn the victim stories into healthier and more productive stories.

Humanize the Bad Apple rather than demonizing them.

· Usually with Bad Apples we tend to focus more on the bad, than the apple. All apples have or will have something wrong with them eventually.

· The reality is that there are reasons why his person is struggling and it’s more than just that they are “evil”.

· Try to go upstream and understand the sources that are/have poisoned this apple rather than judging the apple.

· Balance the problems with the compassion.

· Discuss the good about this person, as much as the dysfunctional qualities.

· Look for the exceptions to the behaviors and not just the problems.

Remember that how you handle the Bad Apple is more about you than them.

· This is your greatest test of character.

· Your actions demonstrate to everyone how you will treat them when the roles reverse.

· Be a light, not a critic! Be a solution, not just more of the problem.

· Share the things that worked; don’t reinforce the broken.

Realize that the role of Bad Apple is a rotating role.

· Don’t become another Bad Apple

· Bad Apples are subjective and eventually you may seem like a Bad Apple to someone. How do you want to be treated?

For more relationship advice, attend:

Date Night with Matt Townsend

“Strengthening a Marriage While Raising a Family”
Friday, August 26
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
$35 per couple
Location: Noah’s in South Jordan
To register:
801-747-2121 or

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