Intervention “Verbal-slap”: Help a friend who has lost touch with reality

verbal-slap intervention

First of all, before going straight into the verbal-slap intervention, let me start with a disclaimer:

Your friends and family are not your psychiatrist or psychologist. Don’t expect them to act like professionals and to solve your problems. The only thing they can do, if you are having a problem, is to give you the right, according to them, advice.

What Is A "Verbal-Slap" Intervention?

verbal slap intervention

Honestly, I find the verbal-slap one of the best ways to help a friend. It’s like an intervention – you give them the verbal-slap the least they are expecting it. They are already in their new comfort zone and this will come for them as a bad surprise out of nowhere.

The thing is that everyone can give you moral support and comfort:

Everything is going to be all right! It takes time! Take as much time as you want! You are going to be just fine!

But not many friends can give you the verbal-slap.

That’s right! Straight in your face! 🙂

Being honest and sometimes brutally honest can actually lead to change, more often as you think.

People in despair, fear have the same symptoms and act as people in depression:

  • Tired
  • Finding excuses ALL the time
  • Being negative
  • Vulnerable
  • Cry a lot – secretly or in front of people
  • Have a defensive mechanism not to share their thoughts

I have cried so many times because of those verbal-slap interventions. Thank God I have those kinds of friends too – brutally honest!

Your friends can be assholes to you as much as they want to exactly because they love you and they know that you love them.

They can give you the verbal-slap straight away. Here is how it went down for me…the first time:

You are wasting time! Do YOU want to be a waste of time?

What are you doing with this self-pity? Nobody has time for that, not even you! Get out of bed and get a job! Do something! You are becoming a burden to yourself and to others.

While you are lying in bed feeling sorry for yourself, people are busting their asses off to provide and to be someone.

Oh, you and your problems again. Just stop whining! Have you ever asked me about my problems? NO!

The most you delay you coming back to real life, whatever it is to you, the worst it’s becoming.

You say you want to be this and that… Have you ever made the first step? Well, guess what, there always will be people better than you that actually DO stuff!

So stop complaining and do something about your situation! Enough is enough!

The first time that kind of conversation or more like a monologue happened to me was when I was with 4-5 friends at some pub and I could not believe what was happening.

So I cried, I yelled and tried to defend myself with arguments, but I had none. So I stormed out of the pub demonstratively. I smoked a cigarette outside getting angrier and angrier. I went back and yelled some more. Stuff like:

Who are you to talk to me like that! I can be whatever I want to be and don’t need your opinion on that!

He just smiled and said:

Now you are talking! Finally some motivation and anything else from self-pity and whining!

And we got drunk. Hahaha 🙂

The next few times were similar.

So the moral is:

  • Apparently, I get often in this whining mode
  • This pep talk really works
  • People need a wake-up call from their friends to overcome fear, hence, procrastination.
  • People get bored and tired of listening to people’s constant whining and not doing anything about it.

And the point is that more often than you expect you can get caught in this fear to change, and being in this “depressive” state of mind you would never realize that you feel comfortable with. You don’t want to get out of it as long as you have someone to support you and to tell you that everything is going to be all right and whenever you need help, they are there.

Don’t get me wrong! Those friends are the best. But there are also these other friends that will give you the brutally honest truth in the most painful verbal – slap – interevntion – version.

Verbal-Slap Intervention Risks

verbal slap intervention - many fast stories

In most of the cases when you get this verbal slap, you get up on your feet in frustration with yourself and act on your situation. But there are three case scenarios that are not so positive at all:

  1. You close yourself in your shell, even more, feeling week and more vulnerable than ever.

  2. Alienate yourself from friends, feeling as no one understands and supports you.

  3. You get really offended

All of the above are the fear and the self-defense mechanism talking. This can go wrong and it can lead to false paths in order to get the validation from your friend.

Guess what?

No need and time for that!

If you ever get this verbal slap from a friend, it means that it was about time for that intervention, and it is time for you to get up and “dance” your worries away. 🙂

If you want to give this verbal-slap intervention to a friend in order to help him by shaking him to his very core, here is some advice that can help you avoid the risks from the abovementioned.

How To Give A Verbal-Slap Intervention The Right Way

  1. Do not offend them with bad words. After all, this is your friend you are talking to. You want to help them, not humiliate them.

  2. Keep your voice down! You can be harsh to them without involving other people into this.

  3. Instead of pointing out how stupid and weak these people are in the situation they are, show them the light in the tunnel. Give them some courage!


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