Blurt Support
July 31, 2008 7:23 AM   Subscribe

Remember this question (compelled to blurt)? Help me, a non-blurter, support my blurting partner.

What an eye-opener that thread was for our household. I've always noticed he did this, but probably not as often as I do now after reading that thread. While he found great comfort reading that thread by finding others who do this too, I worry I'm making it worse now that I notice it so much more. Before I used to just ignore it and that's probably best. I don't mean to react, but my reaction seems to be making his utterances more frequent. I want to be supportive, loving, all that!

So tell me - if you have this dynamic in your life, what helps you?
posted by dog food sugar to Human Relations (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Saying "Oh well", and then getting on with living. Sort of like an instantaneous self-forgiveness. We're only human.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:31 AM on July 31, 2008

You're noticing it more now because your awareness of it is heightened. Give it a few weeks and I suspect you'll go back to being able to ignore it again.
posted by elfgirl at 7:36 AM on July 31, 2008

I would try to ignore it. Or, if you feel like he's ruminating on a past embarrasing moment, try to divert his attention by striking up a conversation.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:20 AM on July 31, 2008

I should have mentioned that these cringe moments with blurts are usually fleeting. The memory appears for one second, you blurt, and then you're off to thinking about something else. It's more helpful if my spouse ignores it, unless I am fixated on something.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:24 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

You're noticing it more now because your awareness of it is heightened. Give it a few weeks and I suspect you'll go back to being able to ignore it again.

For sanity's sake, I hope that this will most likely be the case. It's one of those things that the more you think about it, the more you'll notice it; perhaps causing him to cyclically do it more. I've had (to a lesser degree) similar experiences after discussing speech tics (i.e. saying "Umm," "Y'know," etc. while talking). Immediately after these conversations about tics, and being hyperaware of said tics, simply listening to conversations, my own words included, was extremely annoying and made me uncomfortable. With time, however, I ceased noticing occurrences of this for the most part, at least until the next time this came up.
posted by Debaser626 at 8:26 AM on July 31, 2008

If you have to do anything, could you just perhaps go for a reassuring loving stroke on the arm or something, to let him know it's okay? I have this tic too and was mightily relieved to know so many other people did it as well. My main fear when 'waking up' from slipping into it is that people might be looking at me like I'm mad. Most of the time I doubt anyone had noticed.

I'm not sure I'd like my husband to strike up a conversation about it though immediately after doing it, as it'd feel kind of embarrassing. And you will go back to not noticing it so much, it's all the thinking about it that makes me slightly anxious!
posted by Augenblick at 9:18 AM on July 31, 2008

I have a friend who hums random notes as his way of blurting.
I figured that since he is already having a moment of feeling bad about himself, the best thing I could do for him was give him a little boost. So now when he starts humming I turn to him and say, "You're soooo good lookin' ".

It gets him out of his head and it makes him smile.
posted by Brody's chum at 11:04 AM on July 31, 2008

Just be supportive and loving. Trying to make him stop or otherwise directly change this behavior is only going to make it worse.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:53 PM on July 31, 2008

After I finally came out to my wife and admitted what all those beeping noises were for, she occasionally asks "so what was that one?" when it happens. And I tell her whatever random embarrassing memory my subconscious chose to dredge up for me, and we'd both laugh about it or just shrug and move on -- in any case talking about it often helped keep those particular memories from recurring so often or feeling so dreadful.

(Not that I have any shortage of embarrassing memories to dredge up, of course. Defuse all you want, I'll make more.)

This might help for him, or it might just be the worst thing ever, depending on how self-conscious he is about the whole blurting thing. Ask him.
posted by ook at 2:57 PM on July 31, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you everyone for your thoughtful answers.
posted by dog food sugar at 6:37 AM on August 1, 2008

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